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Starmer is still struggling to win Tory converts – politicalbetting.com

SystemSystem Posts: 11,002
edited May 2023 in General
imageStarmer is still struggling to win Tory converts – politicalbetting.com

The above is the detailed data from this week’s YouGov poll which I show to highlight a big problem for Labour – although the Tory share is right down only a relatively small proportion of GE2019 CON voters have made the switch to Starmer’s party.

Read the full story here

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Comments

  • CatManCatMan Posts: 2,636
    First, like weird people who are up at half three in the morning
  • viewcodeviewcode Posts: 17,818
    edited May 2023
    CatMan said:

    First, like weird people who are up at half three in the morning

    3:31 UK time. I win!
  • viewcodeviewcode Posts: 17,818
    viewcode said:

    CatMan said:

    First, like weird people who are up at half three in the morning

    3:31 UK time. I win!
    Now that I have won the internet, what shall I do with my new-found absolute authority? I know, I'll start with [go to bed, @viewcode - Ed]
  • RobDRobD Posts: 58,916
    CatMan said:

    First, like weird people who are up at half three in the morning

    There are dozens of us.
  • Penddu2Penddu2 Posts: 574
    5th - must do better...
  • Penddu2Penddu2 Posts: 574
    To all unionists who are depressed at the results coming in from Northern Ireland.... I suggest not looking at Swansea today....

    Our time is near....
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 46,809
    Penddu2 said:

    To all unionists who are depressed at the results coming in from Northern Ireland.... I suggest not looking at Swansea today....

    Our time is near....

    The DUP deserved worse.
  • Peter_the_PunterPeter_the_Punter Posts: 13,186
    edited May 2023
    Whilst it is clear that the Trussterfuckup brought about a massive reversal in the polls for Labour and the Conservatives, a less pronounced dip in support for the LDs also resulted. This was presumably because the imperative of removing an incompetent and extreme Government took precedence over all else and Labour was seen as the obvious refuge for most voters. In short, it was a classic third Party squeeze of the LDs - small but distinct.

    Nothing surprising about this. Something similar happened at the last GE. Fear of Corbyn discouraged any flirting with third Party candidates, much to the disadvantage of the LDs.

    Now that the Conservatives are returning to more normal levels of support, and Starmer (for all his faults) seems a less frightening figure than Corbyn, the LDs can hope to flourish again. Indeed we are seeing a mini-revival back to the levels they enjoyed just before the Great Truss Experiment.

    This is not helpful for Sunak. He will be fighting on two fronts at the next GE. Starmer may not win an overall majority, but if the Tories lose a sizeable chunk to Davey (yes, him) that will be little comfort to them.

    If I were betting now (I'm not) I would invest on the basis of Labour at or around 325 seats, and LDs 30 or so. That would suggest Tories on about 220, which in the circumstances wouldn't be a bad effort. (I'm also assuming a large measure of tactical voting which will not be to the Governments advantage.)

    How far out am I, PBers? I'm off to walk the dog. Back in about an hour. Let me know by then, please.
  • RogerRoger Posts: 18,804
    edited May 2023
    An 18% Labour lead would produce a landslide.

    Isn't it rather counter-intuitive to suggest a gold standard pollster who make their living out of accurately predicting election results would not have taken account of this gigantic elephant?

    It seems pretty clear that whatever they try the stink that is Brexit will hang around the Tory Party's neck for years to come and however many times they change their leader or wash themselves it wont go away
  • pigeonpigeon Posts: 3,988
    These VI polls are, and always have been, very unreliable. The Conservative Party will likely end up with no less than 35% of the popular vote come the next election, because well-to-do older people will shuffle back to them, and there'll be a Hung Parliament. My guesstimate of the outcome remains Lab 300, Con 260, SNP 40, LD 25.
  • PulpstarPulpstar Posts: 75,681
    Just had a dream Rishi went for an election this year. 145 seats was the exit poll no for the Tories.
  • RogerRoger Posts: 18,804
    Pulpstar said:

    Just had a dream Rishi went for an election this year. 145 seats was the exit poll no for the Tories.

    The Messiah!
  • RogerRoger Posts: 18,804
    edited May 2023
    pigeon said:

    These VI polls are, and always have been, very unreliable. The Conservative Party will likely end up with no less than 35% of the popular vote come the next election, because well-to-do older people will shuffle back to them, and there'll be a Hung Parliament. My guesstimate of the outcome remains Lab 300, Con 260, SNP 40, LD 25.

    Why would you imagine the respondents to the polling questions would want to mislead the pollsters about their intent or later change their minds in such large numbers? Wouldn't the researchers be expected to take such predictable occurrences into account like they do with product research if that's what's going to happen?
  • rcs1000rcs1000 Posts: 53,511
    pigeon said:

    These VI polls are, and always have been, very unreliable. The Conservative Party will likely end up with no less than 35% of the popular vote come the next election, because well-to-do older people will shuffle back to them, and there'll be a Hung Parliament. My guesstimate of the outcome remains Lab 300, Con 260, SNP 40, LD 25.

    If it's 42 Lab, 35 Con, then with the SNP down to 38-40% in Scotland, we can probably expect a small Labour majority.

    Simply, Lab will pick up 20-25 in Scotland, and a little more than 100 in England and Wales.

    Now, this is far from nailed on, but one only has to look at 2005 to see how hammered the Conservatives can be, when the anti-Tory vote is well organised.
  • pigeonpigeon Posts: 3,988
    Roger said:

    pigeon said:

    These VI polls are, and always have been, very unreliable. The Conservative Party will likely end up with no less than 35% of the popular vote come the next election, because well-to-do older people will shuffle back to them, and there'll be a Hung Parliament. My guesstimate of the outcome remains Lab 300, Con 260, SNP 40, LD 25.

    Why would you imagine the respondents to the polling questions would want to mislead the pollsters about their intent or later change their minds in such large numbers? Wouldn't the researchers be expected to take such predictable occurrences into account like they do with product research if that's what's going to happen?
    There's no particular reason to suppose that anyone answering these questions is setting out deliberately to mislead. It's simply the case that voter behaviour when voting is frequently and demonstrably different from voter behaviour when asked meaningless and inconsequential questions.

    The Conservative Party was 20% ahead of Labour one month out from the 2017 GE, and look what happened.
  • eekeek Posts: 24,507
    pigeon said:

    Roger said:

    pigeon said:

    These VI polls are, and always have been, very unreliable. The Conservative Party will likely end up with no less than 35% of the popular vote come the next election, because well-to-do older people will shuffle back to them, and there'll be a Hung Parliament. My guesstimate of the outcome remains Lab 300, Con 260, SNP 40, LD 25.

    Why would you imagine the respondents to the polling questions would want to mislead the pollsters about their intent or later change their minds in such large numbers? Wouldn't the researchers be expected to take such predictable occurrences into account like they do with product research if that's what's going to happen?
    There's no particular reason to suppose that anyone answering these questions is setting out deliberately to mislead. It's simply the case that voter behaviour when voting is frequently and demonstrably different from voter behaviour when asked meaningless and inconsequential questions.

    The Conservative Party was 20% ahead of Labour one month out from the 2017 GE, and look what happened.
    No one is going to do a Teresa May and scare the horses by announcing a social care “tax” mid campaign again.

    Everything vaguely risky is going to be announced up front so the story or mitigation is covered early.

    Heck we’ve already seen that with vat on private schools. Can’t afford to keep your child there - switch to a budget food brand - well done stupid Tory MPs not knowing when to keep your mouth shut.
  • pigeonpigeon Posts: 3,988
    rcs1000 said:

    pigeon said:

    These VI polls are, and always have been, very unreliable. The Conservative Party will likely end up with no less than 35% of the popular vote come the next election, because well-to-do older people will shuffle back to them, and there'll be a Hung Parliament. My guesstimate of the outcome remains Lab 300, Con 260, SNP 40, LD 25.

    If it's 42 Lab, 35 Con, then with the SNP down to 38-40% in Scotland, we can probably expect a small Labour majority.

    Simply, Lab will pick up 20-25 in Scotland, and a little more than 100 in England and Wales.

    Now, this is far from nailed on, but one only has to look at 2005 to see how hammered the Conservatives can be, when the anti-Tory vote is well organised.
    The SNP aren't in as much trouble as is generally assumed. The Blue Woad Brigade has, after all, nowhere else to go. Labour will be doing very well to pick up a dozen seats.

    Tactical voting might move the dial a bit more, though OTOH it doesn't do to overestimate the enthusiasm for an incoming Labour administration. I might begin to believe that the majority is on if Labour offers an appealing alternative vision of its own, rather than relying on being "Not Tories" and doing as little as possible to upset the minted codger vote. There have been a few encouraging noises about confronting the Nimbies this week, but whether this translates into workable policy remains to be seen.
  • squareroot2squareroot2 Posts: 6,259
    edited May 2023
    It's an interesting conundrum as to whether a small majority or one that relies on another party in coalition is best for the nation in 2024
    I favour wafer thin Labour majority rather than coalition, (if indeed tory defeat is what is going to happen, based on current polling) as Labour could and would be blamed for everything and there would be some/several "bastards" (cf John Major's govt of 92 )that could make life very difficult for Starmer.
  • Sean_FSean_F Posts: 35,739
    Penddu2 said:

    To all unionists who are depressed at the results coming in from Northern Ireland.... I suggest not looking at Swansea today....

    Our time is near....

    Polling suggests that your time is a long way off (and even in Northern Ireland, too).
  • noneoftheabovenoneoftheabove Posts: 20,244

    Whilst it is clear that the Trussterfuckup brought about a massive reversal in the polls for Labour and the Conservatives, a less pronounced dip in support for the LDs also resulted. This was presumably because the imperative of removing an incompetent and extreme Government took precedence over all else and Labour was seen as the obvious refuge for most voters. In short, it was a classic third Party squeeze of the LDs - small but distinct.

    Nothing surprising about this. Something similar happened at the last GE. Fear of Corbyn discouraged any flirting with third Party candidates, much to the disadvantage of the LDs.

    Now that the Conservatives are returning to more normal levels of support, and Starmer (for all his faults) seems a less frightening figure than Corbyn, the LDs can hope to flourish again. Indeed we are seeing a mini-revival back to the levels they enjoyed just before the Great Truss Experiment.

    This is not helpful for Sunak. He will be fighting on two fronts at the next GE. Starmer may not win an overall majority, but if the Tories lose a sizeable chunk to Davey (yes, him) that will be little comfort to them.

    If I were betting now (I'm not) I would invest on the basis of Labour at or around 325 seats, and LDs 30 or so. That would suggest Tories on about 220, which in the circumstances wouldn't be a bad effort. (I'm also assuming a large measure of tactical voting which will not be to the Governments advantage.)

    How far out am I, PBers? I'm off to walk the dog. Back in about an hour. Let me know by then, please.

    Sounds about right. I'd be the same LDs and Tories but higher Labour as I am very bearish on SNP seats at the GE.
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 46,809

    It's an interesting conundrum as to whether a small majority or one that relies on another party in coalition is best for the nation in 2024
    I favour wafer thin Labour majority rather than coalition, (if indeed tory defeat is what is going to happen, based on current polling) as Labour could and would be blamed for everything and there would be some/several "bastards" (cf John Major's govt of 92 )that could make life very difficult for Starmer.

    The issue is that an arrangement with another party, particularly a more moderate one, could offer a period of stability, whereas a small majority risks the opposite and potentially empowers a handful of the nuttier MPs in that party to rock the boat or hold the government to ransom.
  • pigeonpigeon Posts: 3,988
    eek said:

    pigeon said:

    Roger said:

    pigeon said:

    These VI polls are, and always have been, very unreliable. The Conservative Party will likely end up with no less than 35% of the popular vote come the next election, because well-to-do older people will shuffle back to them, and there'll be a Hung Parliament. My guesstimate of the outcome remains Lab 300, Con 260, SNP 40, LD 25.

    Why would you imagine the respondents to the polling questions would want to mislead the pollsters about their intent or later change their minds in such large numbers? Wouldn't the researchers be expected to take such predictable occurrences into account like they do with product research if that's what's going to happen?
    There's no particular reason to suppose that anyone answering these questions is setting out deliberately to mislead. It's simply the case that voter behaviour when voting is frequently and demonstrably different from voter behaviour when asked meaningless and inconsequential questions.

    The Conservative Party was 20% ahead of Labour one month out from the 2017 GE, and look what happened.
    No one is going to do a Teresa May and scare the horses by announcing a social care “tax” mid campaign again.

    Everything vaguely risky is going to be announced up front so the story or mitigation is covered early.

    Heck we’ve already seen that with vat on private schools. Can’t afford to keep your child there - switch to a budget food brand - well done stupid Tory MPs not knowing when to keep your mouth shut.
    It's fair comment - I deliberately picked an extreme example, of course - but poll tightening between mid-term and an election is normal. Besides, if you're going to get all excited about Labour's headline leads, it's disingenuous to ignore the rather obvious point made by OGH, i.e. that the large majority of the Con 2019 vote still - after how epically useless the Government has proven to be, and how relentlessly dreadful the last few years have been - claims that it will vote either Conservative or RefUK. The latter, of course, being a proxy for "we are having a bit of a temper tantrum with the Tories, but will go straight back to them at a general election." The chunk of the grey vote that claims to favour RefUK will, almost to the last man and woman, go back to the Conservatives, and they'll do well to make 1%.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 60,487
    edited May 2023
    (FPT)
    kle4 said:

    Nigelb said:

    kle4 said:

    Campunt said:

    Nigelb said:

    HYUFD said:

    Boris and Carrie Johnson move into their new home, a Grade II listed £3.8 mllion moated mansion Brightwell Manor in Oxfordshire

    'The mansion can found in the picturesque village of Brightwell-cum-Sotwell in Oxfordshire and has nine bedrooms, five bathrooms, six reception rooms and multiple open fireplaces. Dating back to the 1600s, it comes with Tudor and Georgian features, having been updated over the course of centuries. The rest of the five acres of land also features a guest cottage, a garage, a tennis court, a walled garden, and two stables.'
    https://www.houseandgarden.co.uk/article/boris-johnson-house-mansion-oxfordshire?utm_brand=houseandgarden&utm_social-type=owned&utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Social&fbclid=IwAR0llRrAzw457ZGcDLle12bZrZovMPQXHCoj_kaQD0zXUprwDuE91uAI73Q

    From needing an £800,000 3rd party guaranteed loan 24 months ago to affording a £severalmillion mansion is going some. £250,000 per Peppa Pig speech is a nice repeat gig.

    Credit crisis, what credit crisis?
    Yet we were repeatedly told here that Boris would have money problems after leaving government.
    We were also told, rather more often, that he’d be minted.
    And it was obvious that he would be.

    Obvious that is to all those who weren't deranged by bitterness.

    Given how ex PMs get paid so many millions for giving speeches perhaps they should donate a little back to their parties.

    It might reduce the need to go begging from dubious foreigners.
    In many ways being paid so much for speeches is a form of corruption. Who would pay to listen to theresa may for example.
    It's fairly innocuous as far as ways for ex-PMs to make oodles of money go, if a little grubby. We might scoff, but there appears to be a thriving market to pay Theresa May top dollars to speak for half an hour. And it doesn't even generally appear to be being paid by the cream of the evil crop, but instead organisations with far too much money on their hands.

    Unless it's being paid by corrupt regimes, and they do no lobby on behalf of some company who paid them for a speech, it's low grade stuff and more inexplicable than truly worrying.
    That’s one way to view it.
    There’s certainly an argument to be made that the absurd amounts paid for what’s not a particularly valuable service have an ulterior motive.
    And I think it right to be suspicious, but what ulterior motive can be gleaned from the Danish Bar and Law Society, who forked up 100k to May for a speaking engagement?

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10898503/Former-PM-Theresa-paid-109-000-FIVE-hour-talk.html
    I would have thought the general objective is obvious - it’s to cement a commonality of interest between political leaders and the wealthy.

    If you know you can easily become a multimillionaire for virtually no effort once out if office, it’s very much in your interest to make conditions convenient for the rich.
  • Sean_FSean_F Posts: 35,739
    Roger said:

    An 18% Labour lead would produce a landslide.

    Isn't it rather counter-intuitive to suggest a gold standard pollster who make their living out of accurately predicting election results would not have taken account of this gigantic elephant?

    It seems pretty clear that whatever they try the stink that is Brexit will hang around the Tory Party's neck for years to come and however many times they change their leader or wash themselves it wont go away

    Polls are nowcasts, not forecasts.

    Labour are almost sure to win the next GE, but governments always recover ground, as polling day approaches.

    The Conservatives in 1997 recovered 6% from their low point, and Labour in 2010 recovered 9%.
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 60,877
    Good morning, everyone.

    Mr. Root, if we do end up with a coalition it'll be interesting to see if the Lib Dems prioritise a referendum on returning to the EU or PR for General Elections. It will probably be the latter but that may make the former less likely to occur.
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 46,809
    Roger said:

    pigeon said:

    These VI polls are, and always have been, very unreliable. The Conservative Party will likely end up with no less than 35% of the popular vote come the next election, because well-to-do older people will shuffle back to them, and there'll be a Hung Parliament. My guesstimate of the outcome remains Lab 300, Con 260, SNP 40, LD 25.

    Why would you imagine the respondents to the polling questions would want to mislead the pollsters about their intent or later change their minds in such large numbers? Wouldn't the researchers be expected to take such predictable occurrences into account like they do with product research if that's what's going to happen?
    Cf. our BigG…
  • pigeonpigeon Posts: 3,988

    Good morning, everyone.

    Mr. Root, if we do end up with a coalition it'll be interesting to see if the Lib Dems prioritise a referendum on returning to the EU or PR for General Elections. It will probably be the latter but that may make the former less likely to occur.

    Labour won't give them either.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 54,695
    Sean_F said:

    Penddu2 said:

    To all unionists who are depressed at the results coming in from Northern Ireland.... I suggest not looking at Swansea today....

    Our time is near....

    Polling suggests that your time is a long way off (and even in Northern Ireland, too).
    Welsh independence would be utterly catastrophic for Wales.

    Be careful what you wish for.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 54,695
    rcs1000 said:

    pigeon said:

    These VI polls are, and always have been, very unreliable. The Conservative Party will likely end up with no less than 35% of the popular vote come the next election, because well-to-do older people will shuffle back to them, and there'll be a Hung Parliament. My guesstimate of the outcome remains Lab 300, Con 260, SNP 40, LD 25.

    If it's 42 Lab, 35 Con, then with the SNP down to 38-40% in Scotland, we can probably expect a small Labour majority.

    Simply, Lab will pick up 20-25 in Scotland, and a little more than 100 in England and Wales.

    Now, this is far from nailed on, but one only has to look at 2005 to see how hammered the Conservatives can be, when the anti-Tory vote is well organised.
    The anti-Tory vote will be well organised.

    The bigger problem for Rishi is actually getting the Tory vote to show up.

    If both happen, he's in real trouble.
  • StuartinromfordStuartinromford Posts: 13,758
    Two things a poll like this doesn't pick up.

    One is the extent to which opposition voters are in a Get Them Out mood. If the recent locals are any guide, LLG are highly GTO, and events like the NatCon conference are only going to strengthen that feeling.

    The other is who will turn up on the day. It seems pretty likely that left-inclined voters will cross minefields to vote (no Suella, that's not a suggestion) whereas a lot of conservative-inclined voters will be washing their hair that day. Again, matches what we saw earlier this month. But jolly hard for pollsters to pick up, because people tend to exaggerate their likelihood to vote.

    I'm expecting the key swings, as in '97, to be sofa to Labour and Conservative to sofa.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 60,487
    Also recently discussed.
    DeSantis’s USP is no longer particularly convincing; and without that, his attraction as a candidate is far from obvious.

    DeSantis’ weakness as Trump slayer has GOP rivals smelling blood
    The Florida governor once looked to be the Republican best positioned to knock off Trump. On the eve of his campaign launch, it’s no longer so clear.
    https://www.politico.com/news/2023/05/19/desantis-weakness-as-trump-slayer-has-gop-rivals-smelling-blood-00097977
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 60,487
    Nigelb said:

    (FPT)

    kle4 said:

    Nigelb said:

    kle4 said:

    Campunt said:

    Nigelb said:

    HYUFD said:

    Boris and Carrie Johnson move into their new home, a Grade II listed £3.8 mllion moated mansion Brightwell Manor in Oxfordshire

    'The mansion can found in the picturesque village of Brightwell-cum-Sotwell in Oxfordshire and has nine bedrooms, five bathrooms, six reception rooms and multiple open fireplaces. Dating back to the 1600s, it comes with Tudor and Georgian features, having been updated over the course of centuries. The rest of the five acres of land also features a guest cottage, a garage, a tennis court, a walled garden, and two stables.'
    https://www.houseandgarden.co.uk/article/boris-johnson-house-mansion-oxfordshire?utm_brand=houseandgarden&utm_social-type=owned&utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Social&fbclid=IwAR0llRrAzw457ZGcDLle12bZrZovMPQXHCoj_kaQD0zXUprwDuE91uAI73Q

    From needing an £800,000 3rd party guaranteed loan 24 months ago to affording a £severalmillion mansion is going some. £250,000 per Peppa Pig speech is a nice repeat gig.

    Credit crisis, what credit crisis?
    Yet we were repeatedly told here that Boris would have money problems after leaving government.
    We were also told, rather more often, that he’d be minted.
    And it was obvious that he would be.

    Obvious that is to all those who weren't deranged by bitterness.

    Given how ex PMs get paid so many millions for giving speeches perhaps they should donate a little back to their parties.

    It might reduce the need to go begging from dubious foreigners.
    In many ways being paid so much for speeches is a form of corruption. Who would pay to listen to theresa may for example.
    It's fairly innocuous as far as ways for ex-PMs to make oodles of money go, if a little grubby. We might scoff, but there appears to be a thriving market to pay Theresa May top dollars to speak for half an hour. And it doesn't even generally appear to be being paid by the cream of the evil crop, but instead organisations with far too much money on their hands.

    Unless it's being paid by corrupt regimes, and they do no lobby on behalf of some company who paid them for a speech, it's low grade stuff and more inexplicable than truly worrying.
    That’s one way to view it.
    There’s certainly an argument to be made that the absurd amounts paid for what’s not a particularly valuable service have an ulterior motive.
    And I think it right to be suspicious, but what ulterior motive can be gleaned from the Danish Bar and Law Society, who forked up 100k to May for a speaking engagement?

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10898503/Former-PM-Theresa-paid-109-000-FIVE-hour-talk.html
    I would have thought the general objective is obvious - it’s to cement a commonality of interest between political leaders and the wealthy.

    If you know you can easily become a multimillionaire for virtually no effort once out if office, it’s very much in your interest to make conditions convenient for the rich.
    And it’s also largely cost free (for any given individual), and almost entirely deniable as a bribe.
  • kjhkjh Posts: 10,355
    edited May 2023

    It's an interesting conundrum as to whether a small majority or one that relies on another party in coalition is best for the nation in 2024
    I favour wafer thin Labour majority rather than coalition, (if indeed tory defeat is what is going to happen, based on current polling) as Labour could and would be blamed for everything and there would be some/several "bastards" (cf John Major's govt of 92 )that could make life very difficult for Starmer.

    Your argument seems very sound, but why would you want life made difficult for a Labour Govt by their 'bastards'. I support neither Labour nor the Tories but if they are to govern I want them to be successful. In fact I would love to be proved wrong in my vote and that they govern really well.

    Personally I prefer a collation with a moderating party so that a party that governs in a minority is not dependent upon the 'bastards'. Similarly a huge majority results in government with arrogance which is not desirable.
  • Sean_FSean_F Posts: 35,739
    edited May 2023

    Two things a poll like this doesn't pick up.

    One is the extent to which opposition voters are in a Get Them Out mood. If the recent locals are any guide, LLG are highly GTO, and events like the NatCon conference are only going to strengthen that feeling.

    The other is who will turn up on the day. It seems pretty likely that left-inclined voters will cross minefields to vote (no Suella, that's not a suggestion) whereas a lot of conservative-inclined voters will be washing their hair that day. Again, matches what we saw earlier this month. But jolly hard for pollsters to pick up, because people tend to exaggerate their likelihood to vote.

    I'm expecting the key swings, as in '97, to be sofa to Labour and Conservative to sofa.

    There's less of a get them out mood than in the mid 90's, though. You can see that by comparing this May's results with the results in the same local government cycle, May 1995. The Conservatives won 30% of the seats contested this time, compared to 17% in 1995. 31 councils, compared to 8.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 60,487
    edited May 2023
    The arguments we’ve been making for the last few days were explicitly made to government decades ago, and ignored ever since.
    Monopoly utilities ought not be run by foreign entities with zero interest in the welfare of their customers, interested in only extracting as much money from the U.K. as they can.

    Revealed: warning to ministers over privatised water kept secret since 2002
    Author calls for disclosure of his report that ‘shows why private equity dominance in England has proved so disastrous’
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/may/20/revealed-warning-to-ministers-over-privatised-water-kept-secret-since-2002

    The latest proposal to load them with more debt which will explicitly be the responsibility of customers to pay for (rather than just effectively, as is currently the case) is a sick joke.
  • WhisperingOracleWhisperingOracle Posts: 8,472
    edited May 2023
    A good morning to all. There's few better encapsulations of New Labour's complicity in the ultra-laissez faire that has damaged the fabric of our services and institutions than this.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/may/20/revealed-warning-to-ministers-over-privatised-water-kept-secret-since-2002

    'Ministers were warned about the dangers of private equity taking over the water industry in a briefing that has been kept secret for 20 years, the Guardian can reveal.

    The report being withheld from publication predicted the state of the privatised water industry today, and warned against private equity being allowed to move into water firms.

    It was prepared for the Competition Commission (now the Competition and Markets Authority, CMA) in 2002 and has never been published in full. It should have been released under the 20-year rule last summer, but despite repeated attempts to have it published it is being kept secret.

    Today, as private equity dominates ownership of the water sector in England, bringing with it high levels of debt and underinvestment leading to sewage pollution, water shortages and leaks, the author of the report has called for full disclosure of his warning two decades ago."



  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 54,695
    Sean_F said:

    Roger said:

    An 18% Labour lead would produce a landslide.

    Isn't it rather counter-intuitive to suggest a gold standard pollster who make their living out of accurately predicting election results would not have taken account of this gigantic elephant?

    It seems pretty clear that whatever they try the stink that is Brexit will hang around the Tory Party's neck for years to come and however many times they change their leader or wash themselves it wont go away

    Polls are nowcasts, not forecasts.

    Labour are almost sure to win the next GE, but governments always recover ground, as polling day approaches.

    The Conservatives in 1997 recovered 6% from their low point, and Labour in 2010 recovered 9%.
    The Conservatives need to give Conservatives a reason for voting for them.

    Like, err, doing something Conservative in office, and pledging to do more of it in future.
  • Wulfrun_PhilWulfrun_Phil Posts: 4,536
    I'll be surprised if a significant part of the Reform vote switches back to Labour. Overall they are polling 4% with YouGov.

    At GE 2019, the Brexit Party achieved 2.0% of the UK vote share despite standing down in all 317 Conservative held seats and contesting only 275 seats. Had they stood in all GB seats, they could have expected to have received around 4.5%. Furthermore that showing in mainly Labour held seats came despite a lot of pressure to vote Conservative to "get Brexit done".

    This time Tice's stated intention is to stand in every GB seat. There are going to be no tactical deals with the Tories, and no tactical squeeze to deliver Brexit. They are a reservoir for discontented Conservatives and there are a great deal of those around. So I expect Reform to at least match their average vote per seat in 2019 which means them getting at least 4% overall again.
  • Sean_FSean_F Posts: 35,739

    Sean_F said:

    Two things a poll like this doesn't pick up.

    One is the extent to which opposition voters are in a Get Them Out mood. If the recent locals are any guide, LLG are highly GTO, and events like the NatCon conference are only going to strengthen that feeling.

    The other is who will turn up on the day. It seems pretty likely that left-inclined voters will cross minefields to vote (no Suella, that's not a suggestion) whereas a lot of conservative-inclined voters will be washing their hair that day. Again, matches what we saw earlier this month. But jolly hard for pollsters to pick up, because people tend to exaggerate their likelihood to vote.

    I'm expecting the key swings, as in '97, to be sofa to Labour and Conservative to sofa.

    There's less of a get them out mood than in the mid 90's, though. You can see that by comparing this May's results with the results in the same local government cycle, May 1995. The Conservatives won 30% of the seats contested this time, compared to 17% in 1995.
    I think everyone is just exasperated.

    People find the current government venal, embarrassing and shit, and suspect Starmer's government will be the same - but it's a necessary change nonetheless.
    I'd agree with that.
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 46,809
    Sean_F said:

    Two things a poll like this doesn't pick up.

    One is the extent to which opposition voters are in a Get Them Out mood. If the recent locals are any guide, LLG are highly GTO, and events like the NatCon conference are only going to strengthen that feeling.

    The other is who will turn up on the day. It seems pretty likely that left-inclined voters will cross minefields to vote (no Suella, that's not a suggestion) whereas a lot of conservative-inclined voters will be washing their hair that day. Again, matches what we saw earlier this month. But jolly hard for pollsters to pick up, because people tend to exaggerate their likelihood to vote.

    I'm expecting the key swings, as in '97, to be sofa to Labour and Conservative to sofa.

    There's less of a get them out mood than in the mid 90's, though. You can see that by comparing this May's results with the results in the same local government cycle, May 1995. The Conservatives won 30% of the seats contested this time, compared to 17% in 1995. 31 councils, compared to 8.
    Yes, but since many local elections are in thirds, you can’t make direct comparisons like that. Some of the councils they retain are due to the batches of councillors elected by the relatively good Tory results of 2020 - the ones they’ll be defending next year!

    There’s also the geography - while the Tories did reasonably well in parts of the Midlands, their results in the southern Home Counties were pretty bad by any historical standard.

    I was in my original home town of Sevenoaks yesterday, and happened to notice from the Town Council noticeboard that fifteen of the sixteen town councillors just elected are LibDems, with just one remaining Tory. OK, it’s just a town council, but when I was growing up there anyone but the Tories would struggle to get anyone elected to anything.
  • Sean_FSean_F Posts: 35,739
    IanB2 said:

    Sean_F said:

    Two things a poll like this doesn't pick up.

    One is the extent to which opposition voters are in a Get Them Out mood. If the recent locals are any guide, LLG are highly GTO, and events like the NatCon conference are only going to strengthen that feeling.

    The other is who will turn up on the day. It seems pretty likely that left-inclined voters will cross minefields to vote (no Suella, that's not a suggestion) whereas a lot of conservative-inclined voters will be washing their hair that day. Again, matches what we saw earlier this month. But jolly hard for pollsters to pick up, because people tend to exaggerate their likelihood to vote.

    I'm expecting the key swings, as in '97, to be sofa to Labour and Conservative to sofa.

    There's less of a get them out mood than in the mid 90's, though. You can see that by comparing this May's results with the results in the same local government cycle, May 1995. The Conservatives won 30% of the seats contested this time, compared to 17% in 1995. 31 councils, compared to 8.
    Yes, but since many local elections are in thirds, you can’t make direct comparisons like that. Some of the councils they retain are due to the batches of councillors elected by the relatively good Tory results of 2020 - the ones they’ll be defending next year!

    There’s also the geography - while the Tories did reasonably well in parts of the Midlands, their results in the southern Home Counties were pretty bad by any historical standard.

    I was in my original home town of Sevenoaks yesterday, and happened to notice from the Town Council noticeboard that fifteen of the sixteen town councillors just elected are LibDems, with just one remaining Tory. OK, it’s just a town council, but when I was growing up there anyone but the Tories would struggle to get anyone elected to anything.
    1995 is a like for like comparison, since it was the same round as this year. Mostly, all out eletions in the District Councils.

    Back in 1995, the Conservatives finished 11% behind Labour in Hertsmere. This time, they were 9% ahead (but still lost overall control).
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 46,809

    I'll be surprised if a significant part of the Reform vote switches back to Labour. Overall they are polling 4% with YouGov.

    At GE 2019, the Brexit Party achieved 2.0% of the UK vote share despite standing down in all 317 Conservative held seats and contesting only 275 seats. Had they stood in all GB seats, they could have expected to have received around 4.5%. Furthermore that showing in mainly Labour held seats came despite a lot of pressure to vote Conservative to "get Brexit done".

    This time Tice's stated intention is to stand in every GB seat. There are going to be no tactical deals with the Tories, and no tactical squeeze to deliver Brexit. They are a reservoir for discontented Conservatives and there are a great deal of those around. So I expect Reform to at least match their average vote per seat in 2019 which means them getting at least 4% overall again.

    They probably pull in a chunk of the ‘up yours’ and generally disaffected vote that wouldn’t be available to the Tories, as well.
  • Sean_FSean_F Posts: 35,739

    I'll be surprised if a significant part of the Reform vote switches back to Labour. Overall they are polling 4% with YouGov.

    At GE 2019, the Brexit Party achieved 2.0% of the UK vote share despite standing down in all 317 Conservative held seats and contesting only 275 seats. Had they stood in all GB seats, they could have expected to have received around 4.5%. Furthermore that showing in mainly Labour held seats came despite a lot of pressure to vote Conservative to "get Brexit done".

    This time Tice's stated intention is to stand in every GB seat. There are going to be no tactical deals with the Tories, and no tactical squeeze to deliver Brexit. They are a reservoir for discontented Conservatives and there are a great deal of those around. So I expect Reform to at least match their average vote per seat in 2019 which means them getting at least 4% overall again.


    I don't think Reform has anything like the infrastructure to stand so many candidates.
  • WhisperingOracleWhisperingOracle Posts: 8,472
    Staggering.

    "Water companies are struggling to hold their finances in order as interest rates rise on the huge debts they have taken on to pay dividends, according to a leading economist.

    Dieter Helm, a professor of economic policy at the University of Oxford and an adviser to governments, said there were worrying signs from water companies about their financial stability as the economic crisis pushes up interest rates.

    At privatisation in 1989, the nine English water companies were debt free. Between 1991 and 2019 they took on £52bn of debt, according to analysis. By last year debt had risen to £56.2bn, with Ofwat warning of concerns about the financial resilience of the sector."
  • rcs1000rcs1000 Posts: 53,511
    pigeon said:

    rcs1000 said:

    pigeon said:

    These VI polls are, and always have been, very unreliable. The Conservative Party will likely end up with no less than 35% of the popular vote come the next election, because well-to-do older people will shuffle back to them, and there'll be a Hung Parliament. My guesstimate of the outcome remains Lab 300, Con 260, SNP 40, LD 25.

    If it's 42 Lab, 35 Con, then with the SNP down to 38-40% in Scotland, we can probably expect a small Labour majority.

    Simply, Lab will pick up 20-25 in Scotland, and a little more than 100 in England and Wales.

    Now, this is far from nailed on, but one only has to look at 2005 to see how hammered the Conservatives can be, when the anti-Tory vote is well organised.
    The SNP aren't in as much trouble as is generally assumed. The Blue Woad Brigade has, after all, nowhere else to go. Labour will be doing very well to pick up a dozen seats.

    Tactical voting might move the dial a bit more, though OTOH it doesn't do to overestimate the enthusiasm for an incoming Labour administration. I might begin to believe that the majority is on if Labour offers an appealing alternative vision of its own, rather than relying on being "Not Tories" and doing as little as possible to upset the minted codger vote. There have been a few encouraging noises about confronting the Nimbies this week, but whether this translates into workable policy remains to be seen.
    Why would Labour want to offer an "appealing alternative"?

    In the history of elections, I'm struggling to find an example of an appealing alternative. Mostly, oppositions win by shutting up, and letting the government of the day implode.

    And let's talk Scotland.

    In 2015, the SNP got 50% of the vote; in 2017 just 37%; then they bounced back to 45% in 2019.

    Are you really saying the 2017 voteshare is implausible?
  • Peter_the_PunterPeter_the_Punter Posts: 13,186

    Sean_F said:

    Penddu2 said:

    To all unionists who are depressed at the results coming in from Northern Ireland.... I suggest not looking at Swansea today....

    Our time is near....

    Polling suggests that your time is a long way off (and even in Northern Ireland, too).
    Welsh independence would be utterly catastrophic for Wales.

    Be careful what you wish for.
    Wales voted for Brexit, so it has form when it comes to careless wishes.
  • Sean_FSean_F Posts: 35,739

    Staggering.

    "Water companies are struggling to hold their finances in order as interest rates rise on the huge debts they have taken on to pay dividends, according to a leading economist.

    Dieter Helm, a professor of economic policy at the University of Oxford and an adviser to governments, said there were worrying signs from water companies about their financial stability as the economic crisis pushes up interest rates.

    At privatisation in 1989, the nine English water companies were debt free. Between 1991 and 2019 they took on £52bn of debt, according to analysis. By last year debt had risen to £56.2bn, with Ofwat warning of concerns about the financial resilience of the sector."

    Borrowing money to pay dividends seems utterly reckless.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 60,487
    edited May 2023
    .

    A good morning to all. There's few better encapsulations of New Labour's complicity in the ultra-laissez faire that has damaged the fabric of our services and institutions than this.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/may/20/revealed-warning-to-ministers-over-privatised-water-kept-secret-since-2002

    'Ministers were warned about the dangers of private equity taking over the water industry in a briefing that has been kept secret for 20 years, the Guardian can reveal.

    The report being withheld from publication predicted the state of the privatised water industry today, and warned against private equity being allowed to move into water firms.

    It was prepared for the Competition Commission (now the Competition and Markets Authority, CMA) in 2002 and has never been published in full. It should have been released under the 20-year rule last summer, but despite repeated attempts to have it published it is being kept secret.

    Today, as private equity dominates ownership of the water sector in England, bringing with it high levels of debt and underinvestment leading to sewage pollution, water shortages and leaks, the author of the report has called for full disclosure of his warning two decades ago."

    It’s a neat trick.

    You borrow a lot of money to buy a monopoly utility.
    The regulator says you’re allowed to make ‘reasonable’ profits - but that, of course, is after the costs of servicing the debt. So captive customers pay for your investment and your profits.
    Pretty well a one way bet for private equity, so long as they keep governments onside.

    And as noted, the borrowing can also be done after you’ve bought the company.
    Once you’ve extracted enough money, it doesn’t even matter if the business fails.

    The supposed incentives, which are the positive side of a free market system, simply don’t apply.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 66,253
    Sean_F said:

    Staggering.

    "Water companies are struggling to hold their finances in order as interest rates rise on the huge debts they have taken on to pay dividends, according to a leading economist.

    Dieter Helm, a professor of economic policy at the University of Oxford and an adviser to governments, said there were worrying signs from water companies about their financial stability as the economic crisis pushes up interest rates.

    At privatisation in 1989, the nine English water companies were debt free. Between 1991 and 2019 they took on £52bn of debt, according to analysis. By last year debt had risen to £56.2bn, with Ofwat warning of concerns about the financial resilience of the sector."

    Borrowing money to pay dividends seems utterly reckless.
    Charles Ponzi would agree. And he didn't even borrow.

    How can you pay dividends from debt? They are supposed to be the distributed profits of a venture.
  • Peter_the_PunterPeter_the_Punter Posts: 13,186
    rcs1000 said:

    pigeon said:

    rcs1000 said:

    pigeon said:

    These VI polls are, and always have been, very unreliable. The Conservative Party will likely end up with no less than 35% of the popular vote come the next election, because well-to-do older people will shuffle back to them, and there'll be a Hung Parliament. My guesstimate of the outcome remains Lab 300, Con 260, SNP 40, LD 25.

    If it's 42 Lab, 35 Con, then with the SNP down to 38-40% in Scotland, we can probably expect a small Labour majority.

    Simply, Lab will pick up 20-25 in Scotland, and a little more than 100 in England and Wales.

    Now, this is far from nailed on, but one only has to look at 2005 to see how hammered the Conservatives can be, when the anti-Tory vote is well organised.
    The SNP aren't in as much trouble as is generally assumed. The Blue Woad Brigade has, after all, nowhere else to go. Labour will be doing very well to pick up a dozen seats.

    Tactical voting might move the dial a bit more, though OTOH it doesn't do to overestimate the enthusiasm for an incoming Labour administration. I might begin to believe that the majority is on if Labour offers an appealing alternative vision of its own, rather than relying on being "Not Tories" and doing as little as possible to upset the minted codger vote. There have been a few encouraging noises about confronting the Nimbies this week, but whether this translates into workable policy remains to be seen.
    Why would Labour want to offer an "appealing alternative"?

    In the history of elections, I'm struggling to find an example of an appealing alternative. Mostly, oppositions win by shutting up, and letting the government of the day implode.

    And let's talk Scotland.

    In 2015, the SNP got 50% of the vote; in 2017 just 37%; then they bounced back to 45% in 2019.

    Are you really saying the 2017 voteshare is implausible?
    Lloyd George 1918 '...a fit country for heroes' would be the obvious exception to your 'appealing' rule, but I take your point.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 66,253

    rcs1000 said:

    pigeon said:

    rcs1000 said:

    pigeon said:

    These VI polls are, and always have been, very unreliable. The Conservative Party will likely end up with no less than 35% of the popular vote come the next election, because well-to-do older people will shuffle back to them, and there'll be a Hung Parliament. My guesstimate of the outcome remains Lab 300, Con 260, SNP 40, LD 25.

    If it's 42 Lab, 35 Con, then with the SNP down to 38-40% in Scotland, we can probably expect a small Labour majority.

    Simply, Lab will pick up 20-25 in Scotland, and a little more than 100 in England and Wales.

    Now, this is far from nailed on, but one only has to look at 2005 to see how hammered the Conservatives can be, when the anti-Tory vote is well organised.
    The SNP aren't in as much trouble as is generally assumed. The Blue Woad Brigade has, after all, nowhere else to go. Labour will be doing very well to pick up a dozen seats.

    Tactical voting might move the dial a bit more, though OTOH it doesn't do to overestimate the enthusiasm for an incoming Labour administration. I might begin to believe that the majority is on if Labour offers an appealing alternative vision of its own, rather than relying on being "Not Tories" and doing as little as possible to upset the minted codger vote. There have been a few encouraging noises about confronting the Nimbies this week, but whether this translates into workable policy remains to be seen.
    Why would Labour want to offer an "appealing alternative"?

    In the history of elections, I'm struggling to find an example of an appealing alternative. Mostly, oppositions win by shutting up, and letting the government of the day implode.

    And let's talk Scotland.

    In 2015, the SNP got 50% of the vote; in 2017 just 37%; then they bounced back to 45% in 2019.

    Are you really saying the 2017 voteshare is implausible?
    Lloyd George 1918 '...a fit country for heroes' would be the obvious exception to your 'appealing' rule, but I take your point.
    Lloyd George was not in opposition at the time.

    I think you mean Attlee's 'Now win the peace.' He was in opposition although he had been in government two months before.
  • bondegezoubondegezou Posts: 6,771

    Good morning, everyone.

    Mr. Root, if we do end up with a coalition it'll be interesting to see if the Lib Dems prioritise a referendum on returning to the EU or PR for General Elections. It will probably be the latter but that may make the former less likely to occur.

    I think the appetite for any sort of referendum again is very low, even among LibDems. There are concrete changes that don’t require a referendum that are more likely to be asked for in any coalition/confidence & supply negotiations.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 60,487

    Staggering.

    "Water companies are struggling to hold their finances in order as interest rates rise on the huge debts they have taken on to pay dividends, according to a leading economist.

    Dieter Helm, a professor of economic policy at the University of Oxford and an adviser to governments, said there were worrying signs from water companies about their financial stability as the economic crisis pushes up interest rates.

    At privatisation in 1989, the nine English water companies were debt free. Between 1991 and 2019 they took on £52bn of debt, according to analysis. By last year debt had risen to £56.2bn, with Ofwat warning of concerns about the financial resilience of the sector."

    We’ve had this discussion before.
    The long period of ultra low interest rates would have been a fantastic opportunity for government to borrow to fund large infrastructure projects.
    That largely didn’t happen.

    It was also a fantastic opportunity for private equity, as the carrying cost of debt was so low. They took full advantage of the opportunity.
    Water companies are just one example of how debt has been used to extract value.
    There’s really zero defence for that particular set of privatisations and how they has been dealt with by government and regulators for the last three decades.
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 60,877
    Mr. Gezou, I agree with your assessment, though windows of opportunity matter a lot. There was just one for leaving the EU, after all.
  • OnlyLivingBoyOnlyLivingBoy Posts: 14,719
    Sean_F said:

    Staggering.

    "Water companies are struggling to hold their finances in order as interest rates rise on the huge debts they have taken on to pay dividends, according to a leading economist.

    Dieter Helm, a professor of economic policy at the University of Oxford and an adviser to governments, said there were worrying signs from water companies about their financial stability as the economic crisis pushes up interest rates.

    At privatisation in 1989, the nine English water companies were debt free. Between 1991 and 2019 they took on £52bn of debt, according to analysis. By last year debt had risen to £56.2bn, with Ofwat warning of concerns about the financial resilience of the sector."

    Borrowing money to pay dividends seems utterly reckless.
    It's called private equity.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 60,487
    edited May 2023
    ydoethur said:

    Sean_F said:

    Staggering.

    "Water companies are struggling to hold their finances in order as interest rates rise on the huge debts they have taken on to pay dividends, according to a leading economist.

    Dieter Helm, a professor of economic policy at the University of Oxford and an adviser to governments, said there were worrying signs from water companies about their financial stability as the economic crisis pushes up interest rates.

    At privatisation in 1989, the nine English water companies were debt free. Between 1991 and 2019 they took on £52bn of debt, according to analysis. By last year debt had risen to £56.2bn, with Ofwat warning of concerns about the financial resilience of the sector."

    Borrowing money to pay dividends seems utterly reckless.
    Charles Ponzi would agree. And he didn't even borrow.

    How can you pay dividends from debt? They are supposed to be the distributed profits of a venture.
    Standard practice for private equity.
  • Peter_the_PunterPeter_the_Punter Posts: 13,186
    edited May 2023

    Whilst it is clear that the Trussterfuckup brought about a massive reversal in the polls for Labour and the Conservatives, a less pronounced dip in support for the LDs also resulted. This was presumably because the imperative of removing an incompetent and extreme Government took precedence over all else and Labour was seen as the obvious refuge for most voters. In short, it was a classic third Party squeeze of the LDs - small but distinct.

    Nothing surprising about this. Something similar happened at the last GE. Fear of Corbyn discouraged any flirting with third Party candidates, much to the disadvantage of the LDs.

    Now that the Conservatives are returning to more normal levels of support, and Starmer (for all his faults) seems a less frightening figure than Corbyn, the LDs can hope to flourish again. Indeed we are seeing a mini-revival back to the levels they enjoyed just before the Great Truss Experiment.

    This is not helpful for Sunak. He will be fighting on two fronts at the next GE. Starmer may not win an overall majority, but if the Tories lose a sizeable chunk to Davey (yes, him) that will be little comfort to them.

    If I were betting now (I'm not) I would invest on the basis of Labour at or around 325 seats, and LDs 30 or so. That would suggest Tories on about 220, which in the circumstances wouldn't be a bad effort. (I'm also assuming a large measure of tactical voting which will not be to the Governments advantage.)

    How far out am I, PBers? I'm off to walk the dog. Back in about an hour. Let me know by then, please.

    Sounds about right. I'd be the same LDs and Tories but higher Labour as I am very bearish on SNP seats at the GE.
    Thanks, None.

    The polls are indeed Nowcasts rather than Forecasts and who knows what events will turn up.

    I'm expecting that another 18 months of Sensible Sunak will enable many loyal Conservatives to forget about the terrors of Truss and embarrassment of Boris and they will vote as usual for the only Party they perceive as capable of giving them safe, secure Government, devoid as far as possible of Socialism and the like.

    In short, there will be swingback, but not enough to prevent a spell in Opposition for the Blue Team.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 50,394
    pigeon said:

    rcs1000 said:

    pigeon said:

    These VI polls are, and always have been, very unreliable. The Conservative Party will likely end up with no less than 35% of the popular vote come the next election, because well-to-do older people will shuffle back to them, and there'll be a Hung Parliament. My guesstimate of the outcome remains Lab 300, Con 260, SNP 40, LD 25.

    If it's 42 Lab, 35 Con, then with the SNP down to 38-40% in Scotland, we can probably expect a small Labour majority.

    Simply, Lab will pick up 20-25 in Scotland, and a little more than 100 in England and Wales.

    Now, this is far from nailed on, but one only has to look at 2005 to see how hammered the Conservatives can be, when the anti-Tory vote is well organised.
    The SNP aren't in as much trouble as is generally assumed. The Blue Woad Brigade has, after all, nowhere else to go. Labour will be doing very well to pick up a dozen seats.

    Tactical voting might move the dial a bit more, though OTOH it doesn't do to overestimate the enthusiasm for an incoming Labour administration. I might begin to believe that the majority is on if Labour offers an appealing alternative vision of its own, rather than relying on being "Not Tories" and doing as little as possible to upset the minted codger vote. There have been a few encouraging noises about confronting the Nimbies this week, but whether this translates into workable policy remains to be seen.
    No, they are in trouble and they do have somewhere else to go. I recommend reading some of the excellent threads on Wings over Scotland* and then dipping below the line there for as long as you can thole. Campbell is a good writer, witty and with a finely developed sense of the absurd but his readers are the sort of people whom we used to call cybernats and they now hate the SNP with a passion.

    My expectation is that the SNP will lose roughly half of their Westminster seats at the next election, mainly to Labour. It may well give Labour a majority.

    https://wingsoverscotland.com/ Try Full ahead Backwards as a good sample.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 60,487

    Whilst it is clear that the Trussterfuckup brought about a massive reversal in the polls for Labour and the Conservatives, a less pronounced dip in support for the LDs also resulted. This was presumably because the imperative of removing an incompetent and extreme Government took precedence over all else and Labour was seen as the obvious refuge for most voters. In short, it was a classic third Party squeeze of the LDs - small but distinct.

    Nothing surprising about this. Something similar happened at the last GE. Fear of Corbyn discouraged any flirting with third Party candidates, much to the disadvantage of the LDs.

    Now that the Conservatives are returning to more normal levels of support, and Starmer (for all his faults) seems a less frightening figure than Corbyn, the LDs can hope to flourish again. Indeed we are seeing a mini-revival back to the levels they enjoyed just before the Great Truss Experiment.

    This is not helpful for Sunak. He will be fighting on two fronts at the next GE. Starmer may not win an overall majority, but if the Tories lose a sizeable chunk to Davey (yes, him) that will be little comfort to them.

    If I were betting now (I'm not) I would invest on the basis of Labour at or around 325 seats, and LDs 30 or so. That would suggest Tories on about 220, which in the circumstances wouldn't be a bad effort. (I'm also assuming a large measure of tactical voting which will not be to the Governments advantage.)

    How far out am I, PBers? I'm off to walk the dog. Back in about an hour. Let me know by then, please.

    Sounds about right. I'd be the same LDs and Tories but higher Labour as I am very bearish on SNP seats at the GE.
    Thanks, None.

    The polls are indeed Nowcasts rather than Forecasts and who knows what events will turn up.

    I'm expecting that another 18 months of Sensible Sunak will enable many loyal Conservatives to forget about the terrors of Truss and embarrassment of Boris and they will vote as usual for the only Party they perceive as capable of giving them safe, secure Government, devoid as far as possible of Socialism and the like.

    In short, there will be swingback, but not enough to prevent a spell in Opposition for the Blue Team.
    The opposition should be hammering the water companies story (while quietly ignoring the fact they were oblivious or complicit back when they were in government).
    It utterly destroys the ‘safe, secure’ argument - and is a critique which need not be socialist at all.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 60,487
    No doubt Dura will be along soon to tell us this is irrelevant.

    Denmark and Portugal decided to join other countries ready to train Ukrainian pilots on American F-16 fighter jets and work to ensure that Ukraine receives such aircraft. Denmark was announced by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and Portugal by Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.
    https://twitter.com/Hromadske/status/1659820424719474690
  • Peter_the_PunterPeter_the_Punter Posts: 13,186
    edited May 2023
    Nigelb said:

    Whilst it is clear that the Trussterfuckup brought about a massive reversal in the polls for Labour and the Conservatives, a less pronounced dip in support for the LDs also resulted. This was presumably because the imperative of removing an incompetent and extreme Government took precedence over all else and Labour was seen as the obvious refuge for most voters. In short, it was a classic third Party squeeze of the LDs - small but distinct.

    Nothing surprising about this. Something similar happened at the last GE. Fear of Corbyn discouraged any flirting with third Party candidates, much to the disadvantage of the LDs.

    Now that the Conservatives are returning to more normal levels of support, and Starmer (for all his faults) seems a less frightening figure than Corbyn, the LDs can hope to flourish again. Indeed we are seeing a mini-revival back to the levels they enjoyed just before the Great Truss Experiment.

    This is not helpful for Sunak. He will be fighting on two fronts at the next GE. Starmer may not win an overall majority, but if the Tories lose a sizeable chunk to Davey (yes, him) that will be little comfort to them.

    If I were betting now (I'm not) I would invest on the basis of Labour at or around 325 seats, and LDs 30 or so. That would suggest Tories on about 220, which in the circumstances wouldn't be a bad effort. (I'm also assuming a large measure of tactical voting which will not be to the Governments advantage.)

    How far out am I, PBers? I'm off to walk the dog. Back in about an hour. Let me know by then, please.

    Sounds about right. I'd be the same LDs and Tories but higher Labour as I am very bearish on SNP seats at the GE.
    Thanks, None.

    The polls are indeed Nowcasts rather than Forecasts and who knows what events will turn up.

    I'm expecting that another 18 months of Sensible Sunak will enable many loyal Conservatives to forget about the terrors of Truss and embarrassment of Boris and they will vote as usual for the only Party they perceive as capable of giving them safe, secure Government, devoid as far as possible of Socialism and the like.

    In short, there will be swingback, but not enough to prevent a spell in Opposition for the Blue Team.
    The opposition should be hammering the water companies story (while quietly ignoring the fact they were oblivious or complicit back when they were in government).
    It utterly destroys the ‘safe, secure’ argument - and is a critique which need not be socialist at all.
    Oh the 'safe and secure' argument doesn't stand up to any kind of scrutiny whatever, but we are talking about the Electorate here. It doesn't matter if something is true, what matters is what the voters think.

    Come on Nigel, I know it's early but .....
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 50,394
    ydoethur said:

    Sean_F said:

    Staggering.

    "Water companies are struggling to hold their finances in order as interest rates rise on the huge debts they have taken on to pay dividends, according to a leading economist.

    Dieter Helm, a professor of economic policy at the University of Oxford and an adviser to governments, said there were worrying signs from water companies about their financial stability as the economic crisis pushes up interest rates.

    At privatisation in 1989, the nine English water companies were debt free. Between 1991 and 2019 they took on £52bn of debt, according to analysis. By last year debt had risen to £56.2bn, with Ofwat warning of concerns about the financial resilience of the sector."

    Borrowing money to pay dividends seems utterly reckless.
    Charles Ponzi would agree. And he didn't even borrow.

    How can you pay dividends from debt? They are supposed to be the distributed profits of a venture.
    But when the capital of the business is tied up in drains, treatment plants, reservoirs etc provided there is accumulated profit on the balance sheet it is permissible to borrow against those assets to pay dividends and that is what they have done. Their guaranteed return on capital was significantly higher than the sum they could borrow it at until very recently so it made sense to load the new investment up from borrowing too as it increased profits.

    I think with interest rates at 4.5% they will still be ok but if interest rates went much higher the whole financial model would have been in serious trouble. Thankfully they probably won't. 5% tops, maybe a peak of 4.75.
  • Penddu2Penddu2 Posts: 574
    Sean_F said:

    Penddu2 said:

    To all unionists who are depressed at the results coming in from Northern Ireland.... I suggest not looking at Swansea today....

    Our time is near....

    Polling suggests that your time is a long way off (and even in Northern Ireland, too).
    36% is not yet a majority -but it is a large minority.....and growing.

    We can wait a bit longer
  • Penddu2Penddu2 Posts: 574

    Sean_F said:

    Penddu2 said:

    To all unionists who are depressed at the results coming in from Northern Ireland.... I suggest not looking at Swansea today....

    Our time is near....

    Polling suggests that your time is a long way off (and even in Northern Ireland, too).
    Welsh independence would be utterly catastrophic for Wales.

    Be careful what you wish for.
    That is what British establishment said about Ireland, Malta, Singapore, etc.

    It is the Union that is catastrophic for Wales. We can do better.
  • kjhkjh Posts: 10,355
    edited May 2023

    rcs1000 said:

    pigeon said:

    These VI polls are, and always have been, very unreliable. The Conservative Party will likely end up with no less than 35% of the popular vote come the next election, because well-to-do older people will shuffle back to them, and there'll be a Hung Parliament. My guesstimate of the outcome remains Lab 300, Con 260, SNP 40, LD 25.

    If it's 42 Lab, 35 Con, then with the SNP down to 38-40% in Scotland, we can probably expect a small Labour majority.

    Simply, Lab will pick up 20-25 in Scotland, and a little more than 100 in England and Wales.

    Now, this is far from nailed on, but one only has to look at 2005 to see how hammered the Conservatives can be, when the anti-Tory vote is well organised.
    The anti-Tory vote will be well organised.

    The bigger problem for Rishi is actually getting the Tory vote to show up.

    If both happen, he's in real trouble.
    Until the locals I was not convinced your first sentence was correct, but after those results I do think you are right. The LDs were polling really quite low but had spectacular results in their areas. Since then several polls have shown a slight increase in their ratings and a slight lowering of Labour. I have chosen (whether correct or not) to believe that is a reflection of tactical voting rather than a change in support for these parties. If it continues and nothing else changes I think it could be a slaughter with Labour taking their targets and the LDs taking theirs. It could be the LDs do spectacularly well. @HYUFD has already pointed out the situation in Henley and you only have to look at Gove's Surrey Heath seat to look at what the LDs did there. It is a seat I am very familiar with from the past and which used to have 100% Tory Council control. The issue for the LDs will be resources. They could also do with getting that national poll rating up more. That needs by elections and a greater awareness of tactical voting.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 60,487

    Nigelb said:

    Whilst it is clear that the Trussterfuckup brought about a massive reversal in the polls for Labour and the Conservatives, a less pronounced dip in support for the LDs also resulted. This was presumably because the imperative of removing an incompetent and extreme Government took precedence over all else and Labour was seen as the obvious refuge for most voters. In short, it was a classic third Party squeeze of the LDs - small but distinct.

    Nothing surprising about this. Something similar happened at the last GE. Fear of Corbyn discouraged any flirting with third Party candidates, much to the disadvantage of the LDs.

    Now that the Conservatives are returning to more normal levels of support, and Starmer (for all his faults) seems a less frightening figure than Corbyn, the LDs can hope to flourish again. Indeed we are seeing a mini-revival back to the levels they enjoyed just before the Great Truss Experiment.

    This is not helpful for Sunak. He will be fighting on two fronts at the next GE. Starmer may not win an overall majority, but if the Tories lose a sizeable chunk to Davey (yes, him) that will be little comfort to them.

    If I were betting now (I'm not) I would invest on the basis of Labour at or around 325 seats, and LDs 30 or so. That would suggest Tories on about 220, which in the circumstances wouldn't be a bad effort. (I'm also assuming a large measure of tactical voting which will not be to the Governments advantage.)

    How far out am I, PBers? I'm off to walk the dog. Back in about an hour. Let me know by then, please.

    Sounds about right. I'd be the same LDs and Tories but higher Labour as I am very bearish on SNP seats at the GE.
    Thanks, None.

    The polls are indeed Nowcasts rather than Forecasts and who knows what events will turn up.

    I'm expecting that another 18 months of Sensible Sunak will enable many loyal Conservatives to forget about the terrors of Truss and embarrassment of Boris and they will vote as usual for the only Party they perceive as capable of giving them safe, secure Government, devoid as far as possible of Socialism and the like.

    In short, there will be swingback, but not enough to prevent a spell in Opposition for the Blue Team.
    The opposition should be hammering the water companies story (while quietly ignoring the fact they were oblivious or complicit back when they were in government).
    It utterly destroys the ‘safe, secure’ argument - and is a critique which need not be socialist at all.
    Oh the 'safe and secure' argument doesn't stand up to any kind of scrutiny whatever, but we are talking about the Electorate here. It doesn't matter if something is true, what matters is what the voters think.

    Come on Nigel, I know it's early but .....
    Absolutely.
    But it’s going to be more of a struggle than is usual to sell that pitch. The Tories could be battling anger along with indifference this time around.
  • Sean_FSean_F Posts: 35,739
    Penddu2 said:

    Sean_F said:

    Penddu2 said:

    To all unionists who are depressed at the results coming in from Northern Ireland.... I suggest not looking at Swansea today....

    Our time is near....

    Polling suggests that your time is a long way off (and even in Northern Ireland, too).
    36% is not yet a majority -but it is a large minority.....and growing.

    We can wait a bit longer
    Yougov has it at 25%.
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 60,877
    Mr. Penddu, I heard the figures some years ago (at least 10) so it may have changed, but Wales at the time had 3% of the UK population and 2% of the wealth. Withdraw public jobs that serve the UK, retain public sector demands of the ability to speak Welsh, and how does that help Wales?

    And that's before we get to 3% of the UK's debt going to Wales.

    On Malta: they wanted to join the UK but ultimately negotiations broke down, I think because changing circumstances made it less attractive for either us or both sides. They never left the UK, they left the Empire.

    On Singapore: this was the only country, to my knowledge, unwillingly kicked out by its former nation (Indonesia... I think). It never left the UK, but the Empire.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 60,487
    A warning for @Leon - your weight loss pill might remove your joie de vivre.

    Ozempic doesn't just suppress your appetite.

    I talked to patients who took the drug to lose weight— only to also effortlessly stop biting their nails, compulsively shopping, drinking alcohol, and so on.

    https://twitter.com/sarahzhang/status/1659590361952538624
  • FrankBoothFrankBooth Posts: 8,933
    Sean_F said:

    Staggering.

    "Water companies are struggling to hold their finances in order as interest rates rise on the huge debts they have taken on to pay dividends, according to a leading economist.

    Dieter Helm, a professor of economic policy at the University of Oxford and an adviser to governments, said there were worrying signs from water companies about their financial stability as the economic crisis pushes up interest rates.

    At privatisation in 1989, the nine English water companies were debt free. Between 1991 and 2019 they took on £52bn of debt, according to analysis. By last year debt had risen to £56.2bn, with Ofwat warning of concerns about the financial resilience of the sector."

    Borrowing money to pay dividends seems utterly reckless.
    The trouble is that if they go bust the problem is on us. What do you do about public goods being owned by private monopolies?
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 46,809
    kjh said:

    rcs1000 said:

    pigeon said:

    These VI polls are, and always have been, very unreliable. The Conservative Party will likely end up with no less than 35% of the popular vote come the next election, because well-to-do older people will shuffle back to them, and there'll be a Hung Parliament. My guesstimate of the outcome remains Lab 300, Con 260, SNP 40, LD 25.

    If it's 42 Lab, 35 Con, then with the SNP down to 38-40% in Scotland, we can probably expect a small Labour majority.

    Simply, Lab will pick up 20-25 in Scotland, and a little more than 100 in England and Wales.

    Now, this is far from nailed on, but one only has to look at 2005 to see how hammered the Conservatives can be, when the anti-Tory vote is well organised.
    The anti-Tory vote will be well organised.

    The bigger problem for Rishi is actually getting the Tory vote to show up.

    If both happen, he's in real trouble.
    Until the locals I was not convinced your first sentence was correct, but after those results I do think you are right. The LDs were polling really quite low but had spectacular results in their areas. Since then several polls have shown a slight increase in their ratings and a slight lowering of Labour. I have chosen (whether correct or not) to believe that is a reflection of tactical voting rather than a change in support for these parties. If it continues and nothing else changes I think it could be a slaughter with Labour taking their targets and the LDs taking theirs. It could be the LDs do spectacularly well. @HYUFD has already pointed out the situation in Henley and you only have to look at Gove's Surrey Heath seat to look at what the LDs did there. It is a seat I am very familiar with from the past and which used to have 100% Tory Council control. The issue for the LDs will be resources. They could also do with getting that national poll rating up more. That needs by elections and a greater awareness of tactical voting.
    400 new councillors will help a bit with resources.
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 91,034
    edited May 2023

    Sean_F said:

    Two things a poll like this doesn't pick up.

    One is the extent to which opposition voters are in a Get Them Out mood. If the recent locals are any guide, LLG are highly GTO, and events like the NatCon conference are only going to strengthen that feeling.

    The other is who will turn up on the day. It seems pretty likely that left-inclined voters will cross minefields to vote (no Suella, that's not a suggestion) whereas a lot of conservative-inclined voters will be washing their hair that day. Again, matches what we saw earlier this month. But jolly hard for pollsters to pick up, because people tend to exaggerate their likelihood to vote.

    I'm expecting the key swings, as in '97, to be sofa to Labour and Conservative to sofa.

    There's less of a get them out mood than in the mid 90's, though. You can see that by comparing this May's results with the results in the same local government cycle, May 1995. The Conservatives won 30% of the seats contested this time, compared to 17% in 1995.
    I think everyone is just exasperated.

    People find the current government venal, embarrassing and shit, and suspect Starmer's government will be the same - but it's a necessary change nonetheless.
    We generally expect government to be a bit crap. We are disappointed about it but can live with it, as governing is hard and our problems are legion.

    But at a certain point public perception can just snap in frustration about how crap things seem. We've reached that point.

    So even though we also don't like the overly gloomy, efforts to tell us actually things are great or in safe hands just makes us get mad or scoff.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 54,695
    Roger said:

    Kwazi Kwarteng was interviewed on Ch4 News by Cathy Neuman and it was put to him that he and Liz Truss had cost the country £40 billion and that it was ongoing. He didn't demur.

    Nor dd he demur over being one of the architects of Brexit which has cost 4% of GDP and is also ongoing. The figure now in common currency is at least £33 billion a year

    A grand total of £73 billion

    ........I'd imagine the country is bloody furious

    https://www.channel4.com/news/kwasi-kwarteng-refuses-to-apologise-over-his-time-in-office

    The increase in interest rates means that the cost of servicing our debt has gone up from c.60bn pa to over £115bn per year in the last 18 months.

    So that's nearly £55bn extra, each and every year.

    Debt levels, growth rates and demographics just dwarf anything else you can do with tax and public investment decisions.

    It explains why Truss rolled the dice (badly) and why so many Western governments focus on inflation and debt, and get tempted by mass immigration.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 50,394

    Sean_F said:

    Staggering.

    "Water companies are struggling to hold their finances in order as interest rates rise on the huge debts they have taken on to pay dividends, according to a leading economist.

    Dieter Helm, a professor of economic policy at the University of Oxford and an adviser to governments, said there were worrying signs from water companies about their financial stability as the economic crisis pushes up interest rates.

    At privatisation in 1989, the nine English water companies were debt free. Between 1991 and 2019 they took on £52bn of debt, according to analysis. By last year debt had risen to £56.2bn, with Ofwat warning of concerns about the financial resilience of the sector."

    Borrowing money to pay dividends seems utterly reckless.
    The trouble is that if they go bust the problem is on us. What do you do about public goods being owned by private monopolies?
    You nationalise them and take on the debt but wipe out the equity interest.

    But from an investment point of view the water companies are just a guaranteed flow of income coming from water bills. Yes, yes, there is this pesky and occasionally embarrassing drainage problem but essentially their value is what it would cost to get that income flow from an alternative source. When interest rates were 0.1% their value was sky high because it would have taken a hell of a lot of gilts to generate that income. Now, it is somewhat less but still positive. It takes real incompetence to make a mess of a business like that.
  • squareroot2squareroot2 Posts: 6,259
    IanB2 said:

    It's an interesting conundrum as to whether a small majority or one that relies on another party in coalition is best for the nation in 2024
    I favour wafer thin Labour majority rather than coalition, (if indeed tory defeat is what is going to happen, based on current polling) as Labour could and would be blamed for everything and there would be some/several "bastards" (cf John Major's govt of 92 )that could make life very difficult for Starmer.

    The issue is that an arrangement with another party, particularly a more moderate one, could offer a period of stability, whereas a small majority risks the opposite and potentially empowers a handful of the nuttier MPs in that party to rock the boat or hold the government to ransom.
    I would enjoy seeing Starmer struggling.. of course it would however likely lead to a big majority 2nd time around... a la Harold Wilson...
  • londonpubmanlondonpubman Posts: 3,086
    kjh said:

    It's an interesting conundrum as to whether a small majority or one that relies on another party in coalition is best for the nation in 2024
    I favour wafer thin Labour majority rather than coalition, (if indeed tory defeat is what is going to happen, based on current polling) as Labour could and would be blamed for everything and there would be some/several "bastards" (cf John Major's govt of 92 )that could make life very difficult for Starmer.

    Your argument seems very sound, but why would you want life made difficult for a Labour Govt by their 'bastards'. I support neither Labour nor the Tories but if they are to govern I want them to be successful. In fact I would love to be proved wrong in my vote and that they govern really well.

    Personally I prefer a collation with a moderating party so that a party that governs in a minority is not dependent upon the 'bastards'. Similarly a huge majority results in government with arrogance which is not desirable.
    I suspect a LAB 'almost majority' maybe 310 seats with support from LD who might have around 25 seats to hopefully apply some sort of restraint in a confidence and supply arrangement.

    CON and (a small number of) SNP can sit together on the opposition benches ...
  • FrankBoothFrankBooth Posts: 8,933
    If we acknowledge that short-termism is endemic in British capitalism then loading up with debt when interest rates are low is the obvious move.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 54,695
    Penddu2 said:

    Sean_F said:

    Penddu2 said:

    To all unionists who are depressed at the results coming in from Northern Ireland.... I suggest not looking at Swansea today....

    Our time is near....

    Polling suggests that your time is a long way off (and even in Northern Ireland, too).
    Welsh independence would be utterly catastrophic for Wales.

    Be careful what you wish for.
    That is what British establishment said about Ireland, Malta, Singapore, etc.

    It is the Union that is catastrophic for Wales. We can do better.
    It's the worst idea in the entire universe.

    You'd have to pay for all the infrastructure of an independent state, put up barriers to England, and get no more Westminster subsidies. The Welsh economy would completely collapse.

    Think of the challenges Brexit has posed and multiple by a factor of a hundred.
  • FairlieredFairliered Posts: 3,758
    The important factor is differential turnout. The drop in SNP seats in 2017 was due to disillusioned independence supporters staying at home, rather than switching to unionist parties. The same could happen at the next GE, not just to the SNP but to the Tories. Is anyone comparing likelihood to vote in current polls compared to past polls?
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 60,487

    Sean_F said:

    Staggering.

    "Water companies are struggling to hold their finances in order as interest rates rise on the huge debts they have taken on to pay dividends, according to a leading economist.

    Dieter Helm, a professor of economic policy at the University of Oxford and an adviser to governments, said there were worrying signs from water companies about their financial stability as the economic crisis pushes up interest rates.

    At privatisation in 1989, the nine English water companies were debt free. Between 1991 and 2019 they took on £52bn of debt, according to analysis. By last year debt had risen to £56.2bn, with Ofwat warning of concerns about the financial resilience of the sector."

    Borrowing money to pay dividends seems utterly reckless.
    The trouble is that if they go bust the problem is on us. What do you do about public goods being owned by private monopolies?
    Stop them extracting any more cash before they do so, for a start.
    There’s no prefect solution starting from here, but there can be some mitigation.
    A number of forensic accountants and greater powers for the regulator might be a worthwhile investment .
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 91,034
    Penddu2 said:

    Sean_F said:

    Penddu2 said:

    To all unionists who are depressed at the results coming in from Northern Ireland.... I suggest not looking at Swansea today....

    Our time is near....

    Polling suggests that your time is a long way off (and even in Northern Ireland, too).
    Welsh independence would be utterly catastrophic for Wales.

    Be careful what you wish for.
    That is what British establishment said about Ireland, Malta, Singapore, etc.

    It is the Union that is catastrophic for Wales. We can do better.
    Nonetheless treating anything as inevitable, as frequently happens on these issues, is just silly.
  • Peter_the_PunterPeter_the_Punter Posts: 13,186

    Penddu2 said:

    Sean_F said:

    Penddu2 said:

    To all unionists who are depressed at the results coming in from Northern Ireland.... I suggest not looking at Swansea today....

    Our time is near....

    Polling suggests that your time is a long way off (and even in Northern Ireland, too).
    Welsh independence would be utterly catastrophic for Wales.

    Be careful what you wish for.
    That is what British establishment said about Ireland, Malta, Singapore, etc.

    It is the Union that is catastrophic for Wales. We can do better.
    It's the worst idea in the entire universe.

    You'd have to pay for all the infrastructure of an independent state, put up barriers to England, and get no more Westminster subsidies. The Welsh economy would completely collapse.

    Think of the challenges Brexit has posed and multiple by a factor of a hundred.
    There's also the huge difference between North and South Wales. Penddu may beg to differ, but Wrexham surely has more in common with Liverpool than Swansea.
  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 31,534
    edited May 2023
    Morning All!

    Looks as though Unionism is slowly slipping in N. Ireland. So far the gains are by SF (although some are from the SDLP) and Alliance, and the losses by UUP.
  • FrankBoothFrankBooth Posts: 8,933
    DavidL said:

    Sean_F said:

    Staggering.

    "Water companies are struggling to hold their finances in order as interest rates rise on the huge debts they have taken on to pay dividends, according to a leading economist.

    Dieter Helm, a professor of economic policy at the University of Oxford and an adviser to governments, said there were worrying signs from water companies about their financial stability as the economic crisis pushes up interest rates.

    At privatisation in 1989, the nine English water companies were debt free. Between 1991 and 2019 they took on £52bn of debt, according to analysis. By last year debt had risen to £56.2bn, with Ofwat warning of concerns about the financial resilience of the sector."

    Borrowing money to pay dividends seems utterly reckless.
    The trouble is that if they go bust the problem is on us. What do you do about public goods being owned by private monopolies?
    You nationalise them and take on the debt but wipe out the equity interest.

    But from an investment point of view the water companies are just a guaranteed flow of income coming from water bills. Yes, yes, there is this pesky and occasionally embarrassing drainage problem but essentially their value is what it would cost to get that income flow from an alternative source. When interest rates were 0.1% their value was sky high because it would have taken a hell of a lot of gilts to generate that income. Now, it is somewhat less but still positive. It takes real incompetence to make a mess of a business like that.
    But that assumes people are trying to run a business rather than cream off a nice earner whilst they can.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 60,487
    DavidL said:

    Sean_F said:

    Staggering.

    "Water companies are struggling to hold their finances in order as interest rates rise on the huge debts they have taken on to pay dividends, according to a leading economist.

    Dieter Helm, a professor of economic policy at the University of Oxford and an adviser to governments, said there were worrying signs from water companies about their financial stability as the economic crisis pushes up interest rates.

    At privatisation in 1989, the nine English water companies were debt free. Between 1991 and 2019 they took on £52bn of debt, according to analysis. By last year debt had risen to £56.2bn, with Ofwat warning of concerns about the financial resilience of the sector."

    Borrowing money to pay dividends seems utterly reckless.
    The trouble is that if they go bust the problem is on us. What do you do about public goods being owned by private monopolies?
    You nationalise them and take on the debt but wipe out the equity interest.

    But from an investment point of view the water companies are just a guaranteed flow of income coming from water bills. Yes, yes, there is this pesky and occasionally embarrassing drainage problem but essentially their value is what it would cost to get that income flow from an alternative source. When interest rates were 0.1% their value was sky high because it would have taken a hell of a lot of gilts to generate that income. Now, it is somewhat less but still positive. It takes real incompetence to make a mess of a business like that.
    The incompetence was on the part of government.
    What private equity did was entirely deliberate. The health of the business is very much secondary to the amount of cash extracted.
  • FrankBoothFrankBooth Posts: 8,933

    Roger said:

    Kwazi Kwarteng was interviewed on Ch4 News by Cathy Neuman and it was put to him that he and Liz Truss had cost the country £40 billion and that it was ongoing. He didn't demur.

    Nor dd he demur over being one of the architects of Brexit which has cost 4% of GDP and is also ongoing. The figure now in common currency is at least £33 billion a year

    A grand total of £73 billion

    ........I'd imagine the country is bloody furious

    https://www.channel4.com/news/kwasi-kwarteng-refuses-to-apologise-over-his-time-in-office

    The increase in interest rates means that the cost of servicing our debt has gone up from c.60bn pa to over £115bn per year in the last 18 months.

    So that's nearly £55bn extra, each and every year.

    Debt levels, growth rates and demographics just dwarf anything else you can do with tax and public investment decisions.

    It explains why Truss rolled the dice (badly) and why so many Western governments focus on inflation and debt, and get tempted by mass immigration.
    Why did no-one point out that so much of our national debt was indexed to inflation? And why was this done? Did other countries make a similar decision?
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 91,034
    edited May 2023
    Nigelb said:

    No doubt Dura will be along soon to tell us this is irrelevant.

    Denmark and Portugal decided to join other countries ready to train Ukrainian pilots on American F-16 fighter jets and work to ensure that Ukraine receives such aircraft. Denmark was announced by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and Portugal by Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.
    https://twitter.com/Hromadske/status/1659820424719474690

    I believe the stereotypical 'edgy' online comment is that the West (outside the Baltics perhaps) doesn't really want Ukraine to win they just want to drive weapons sales for the US and bog Russia down, but simultaneously that they are reckless in risking WW3 by trying to make Russia lose.

    Oh, and ask 'where's the counteroffensive, huh?'
  • WhisperingOracleWhisperingOracle Posts: 8,472
    edited May 2023

    DavidL said:

    Sean_F said:

    Staggering.

    "Water companies are struggling to hold their finances in order as interest rates rise on the huge debts they have taken on to pay dividends, according to a leading economist.

    Dieter Helm, a professor of economic policy at the University of Oxford and an adviser to governments, said there were worrying signs from water companies about their financial stability as the economic crisis pushes up interest rates.

    At privatisation in 1989, the nine English water companies were debt free. Between 1991 and 2019 they took on £52bn of debt, according to analysis. By last year debt had risen to £56.2bn, with Ofwat warning of concerns about the financial resilience of the sector."

    Borrowing money to pay dividends seems utterly reckless.
    The trouble is that if they go bust the problem is on us. What do you do about public goods being owned by private monopolies?
    You nationalise them and take on the debt but wipe out the equity interest.

    But from an investment point of view the water companies are just a guaranteed flow of income coming from water bills. Yes, yes, there is this pesky and occasionally embarrassing drainage problem but essentially their value is what it would cost to get that income flow from an alternative source. When interest rates were 0.1% their value was sky high because it would have taken a hell of a lot of gilts to generate that income. Now, it is somewhat less but still positive. It takes real incompetence to make a mess of a business like that.
    But that assumes people are trying to run a business rather than cream off a nice earner whilst they can.
    It's a good model for the recipients ; extract huge profits for shareholders, while another arm of the commercial oligarchy, the billionare-owned tabloid press, for decades solely blames immigration or population pressures for the state of facilities ; and thus helping ensure a continual lack of proper accountability or scrutiny, or the proper commercial regulation that other European countries have.

    Trebles all around.
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 116,331
    Interesting table. If the 11% of 2019 Tories vote Labour as they say they will, that takes Starmer Labour to about 37%. Add the 21% of 2019 LDs saying they back Labour and that gets them to about 39% from the 32% Corbyn Labour got in 2019.

    Meanwhile if you subtract the 11% of 2019 Tories voting Labour and the 5% voting LD that leaves the Sunak Tories on about 36% from the 43% the Johnson Tories got in 2019. So it could still be close if Sunak squeezes DKs and RefUK voters back to the Conservatives even with no swingback from switchers from Tory to Labour and LD
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 60,487
    As is government.

    Schools bewildered by AI advances, say head teachers
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-65655010
  • FrankBoothFrankBooth Posts: 8,933
    Nigelb said:

    A warning for @Leon - your weight loss pill might remove your joie de vivre.

    Ozempic doesn't just suppress your appetite.

    I talked to patients who took the drug to lose weight— only to also effortlessly stop biting their nails, compulsively shopping, drinking alcohol, and so on.

    https://twitter.com/sarahzhang/status/1659590361952538624

    I've recently changed my medication.

    I have to admit the new one has made me a little more irritable/argumentative but I've been tidying up the flat and getting more done. Some drugs 'work' by zombifying you. That might be necessary in some cases but can also be a problem in others.
  • NickPalmerNickPalmer Posts: 21,196
    kle4 said:

    Sean_F said:

    Two things a poll like this doesn't pick up.

    One is the extent to which opposition voters are in a Get Them Out mood. If the recent locals are any guide, LLG are highly GTO, and events like the NatCon conference are only going to strengthen that feeling.

    The other is who will turn up on the day. It seems pretty likely that left-inclined voters will cross minefields to vote (no Suella, that's not a suggestion) whereas a lot of conservative-inclined voters will be washing their hair that day. Again, matches what we saw earlier this month. But jolly hard for pollsters to pick up, because people tend to exaggerate their likelihood to vote.

    I'm expecting the key swings, as in '97, to be sofa to Labour and Conservative to sofa.

    There's less of a get them out mood than in the mid 90's, though. You can see that by comparing this May's results with the results in the same local government cycle, May 1995. The Conservatives won 30% of the seats contested this time, compared to 17% in 1995.
    I think everyone is just exasperated.

    People find the current government venal, embarrassing and shit, and suspect Starmer's government will be the same - but it's a necessary change nonetheless.
    We generally expect government to be a bit crap. We are disappointed about it but can live with it, as governing is hard and our problems are legion.

    But at a certain point public perception can just snap in frustration about how crap things seem. We've reached that point.

    So even though we also don't like the overly gloomy, efforts to tell us actually things are great or in safe hands just makes us get mad or scoff.
    Sunak seems to be trying the Macmillan approach - next year inflation will be halved, waiting lists will be less catastrophic, there will have been some successes in intercepting smalll boats, and he'll be saying "You've never (or not for years) had it so good, why would you change now?" It worked for Macmillan as I recall. But although it's probably the best plan available, it's unlikely to overcome the "Oh, we're tried of you" sense which now seems very general.
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 38,073
    Penddu2 said:

    Sean_F said:

    Penddu2 said:

    To all unionists who are depressed at the results coming in from Northern Ireland.... I suggest not looking at Swansea today....

    Our time is near....

    Polling suggests that your time is a long way off (and even in Northern Ireland, too).
    Welsh independence would be utterly catastrophic for Wales.

    Be careful what you wish for.
    That is what British establishment said about Ireland, Malta, Singapore, etc.

    It is the Union that is catastrophic for Wales. We can do better.
    You *may* be able to do better if independent. But 'may' is the important word; it is far from certain.

    What makes you think that you would do better? What are the issues that you think face Wales, and how will independence improve those issues?

    Anyway, I hope you have a pleasant day - the weather looks like it's going to be nice in Swansea.
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 116,331
    edited May 2023
    Penddu2 said:

    To all unionists who are depressed at the results coming in from Northern Ireland.... I suggest not looking at Swansea today....

    Our time is near....

    This Unionist is certainly not depressed, indeed on the latest tally from the NI Local Elections the combined Unionist vote of DUP, UUP and TUV is 41%, clearly ahead of the combined Nationalist vote of SF and SDLP at just 38%.
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election/2023/northern-ireland/results

    As for Swansea, why would I care about a few Welsh nationalists with an anti English agenda going on a march in Swansea? Just see this tweet to see the type of anti English 2nd homer hatred and blood and soil nationalism of the Welsh Nationalist movement which in my view is even worse than Scottish nationalism and indeed SF now. https://twitter.com/yescymruruthin/status/1659655703559020574?s=20

    Indeed given the main nationalist party in Wales Plaid is ripping itself apart over misogyny and harassment allegations and its leader has had to step down and not one poll has independence anyway near 50%+ in Wales, despite Brexit and the fact 47% of Welsh voters voted Remain I am not bothered at all.
  • algarkirkalgarkirk Posts: 10,075
    Thanks for the article. There are two distinct angles. What is good for the country, and what are the betting implications.

    For the country there is one priority only - a non Tory government. Tories will be back. but they need a time to work out from what real principles they seek to run the country. We have no idea at the moment. Moment by moment pragmatism cannot take you through 13 years and three+ major critical events in UK and world.

    The Tories cannot run the country with fewer than about 315 seats, 50 fewer than 2019. The polling is on track at least for that.

    IMHO betting wise, most of the 55% of voters currently lost won't return this time, though most will return later.

    Reform will do less well than polling. (Who are they? No-one has heard of them). 'Stay at home' will do well with usually Tory voters, as will the LDs.

    The better the Tories do, the sooner they will be back. A Lab/LD/SNP government would not be pretty. Tories can't win in 2024, but they could 24 months later.

    Labour cannot but disappoint anyway. There's no cash, and none of our problems need less than a decade to fix.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 60,487

    Nigelb said:

    A warning for @Leon - your weight loss pill might remove your joie de vivre.

    Ozempic doesn't just suppress your appetite.

    I talked to patients who took the drug to lose weight— only to also effortlessly stop biting their nails, compulsively shopping, drinking alcohol, and so on.

    https://twitter.com/sarahzhang/status/1659590361952538624

    I've recently changed my medication.

    I have to admit the new one has made me a little more irritable/argumentative but I've been tidying up the flat and getting more done. Some drugs 'work' by zombifying you. That might be necessary in some cases but can also be a problem in others.
    The weight loss drugs are going to be used by millions of people. For a very long time.
    On balance they’re probably a very good thing - but it’s likely far healthier (though more effort) if you can manage without them.
  • FrankBoothFrankBooth Posts: 8,933

    kle4 said:

    Sean_F said:

    Two things a poll like this doesn't pick up.

    One is the extent to which opposition voters are in a Get Them Out mood. If the recent locals are any guide, LLG are highly GTO, and events like the NatCon conference are only going to strengthen that feeling.

    The other is who will turn up on the day. It seems pretty likely that left-inclined voters will cross minefields to vote (no Suella, that's not a suggestion) whereas a lot of conservative-inclined voters will be washing their hair that day. Again, matches what we saw earlier this month. But jolly hard for pollsters to pick up, because people tend to exaggerate their likelihood to vote.

    I'm expecting the key swings, as in '97, to be sofa to Labour and Conservative to sofa.

    There's less of a get them out mood than in the mid 90's, though. You can see that by comparing this May's results with the results in the same local government cycle, May 1995. The Conservatives won 30% of the seats contested this time, compared to 17% in 1995.
    I think everyone is just exasperated.

    People find the current government venal, embarrassing and shit, and suspect Starmer's government will be the same - but it's a necessary change nonetheless.
    We generally expect government to be a bit crap. We are disappointed about it but can live with it, as governing is hard and our problems are legion.

    But at a certain point public perception can just snap in frustration about how crap things seem. We've reached that point.

    So even though we also don't like the overly gloomy, efforts to tell us actually things are great or in safe hands just makes us get mad or scoff.
    Sunak seems to be trying the Macmillan approach - next year inflation will be halved, waiting lists will be less catastrophic, there will have been some successes in intercepting smalll boats, and he'll be saying "You've never (or not for years) had it so good, why would you change now?" It worked for Macmillan as I recall. But although it's probably the best plan available, it's unlikely to overcome the "Oh, we're tried of you" sense which now seems very general.
    Vernon Bogdanor once claimed that 1951 was a crucial election because whoever won would face a decade or more of positive economic news and likely win in 1955 and 1959 (only available with hindsight). I can't see Sunak pulling that off.

    I take him for a modern American business school graduate. Maybe we could do with a bit of that given the state of British corporate life! He's letting us - the shareholders/employees? - know what his plans are for the year so we have a sense of his priorities and that he is focused on practical concerns. I was less cynical than some about him setting targets that ought to be easy bars to clear.
This discussion has been closed.