It’s all gone a bit Dads Army in the latest Tory Election Broadcast for the Euro elections.
It’s all gone a bit Dads Army in the latest Tory Election Broadcast for the Euro elections.
This morning’s Sun/YouGov poll has UKIP on 27% for next month’s Euros, just three points off Labour. The Tories are well down in third place on 22% and the LibDems are on 10%. As you can see by clicking the tabs on our interactive graph, the only redeeming news for Dave is that voting intentions for 2015 see much of that UKIP support in the Euros come home to the Tories. Faced with Miliband in No. 10, the Tories are on 34%, three points behind Labour on 37%. UKIP are on 12% for the general election, with the LibDems again on 10%. The poll was carried out on Monday and Tuesday this week – the ‘Tory establishment stooge’ attacks haven’t made any difference to voters…
Could today’s effort by The Times to get UKIP have anything to with the complaint made last month by the Lib Dem MEP Edward McMillan-Scott about UKIP’s use of allowances? His complaint was based on a series of reports by Times journalists Rachel Sylvester and Alice Thomson. Yesterday that complaint was thrown out by a European Parliament bureau meeting that found there was no matter requiring further investigation…
ComRes CON 29% (-3), LAB 35% (=), LDEM 7% (-2), UKIP 20% (+4)
Opinium CON 30% (-2), LAB 36% (+3), LDEM 7% (-3), UKIP 18% (+3)
Ipsos MORI CON 31%( -1), LAB 37% (+2), LDEM 9% (-4), UKIP 15% (+4)
The trend is clear, since the Nick ‘n Nige Euro Debate UKIP have gained at the expense largely of the LibDems and to a lesser extent the Tories. Clegg’s gamble on solidifying the pro-EU vote behind him has been a double-barrelled shot to his own foot. He came off worse and his mis-judgement has cost his party dearly. Guido hears LibDem loyalists now talking of them losing all their MEP’s seats…
Labour are 6% ahead in current polls, though this may not result in them winning the most seats at the Euro elections because when it comes to certainty to vote, UKIP voters are more motivated. CCHQ is dreading a UKIP victory at the polls sending their backbenchers into headless chicken mode. This chart shows why they should fear Labour winning more than UKIP winning:
If Labour get beaten by UKIP in May the pressure on Ed will explode and the divisions in his party will come out into the open. Whereas if Labour wins Ed will have the wind behind him for the general election. UKIP voters are more likely to return to the Tories when it comes to a general election choice between Miliband and Cameron, therefore it will be a far worse portent for the Tories if Labour rather than UKIP wins in May.
Ed Miliband, Matt Hancock and Michael Gove step aside, Belgian MEP Guy Verhofstadt has done his best to single-handedly ruin the selfie. He has set up a “self-EU“ contest where entrants are encouraged to “send us your selfie, showing us where and how you enjoy the benefits of European integration”. The prize? “You could win a day with Guy Verhofstadt.”
Surely no one will be able to beat Guido’s entry:
Let us know when to pop round, Guy!
Last night’s much-coveted €100,000 IEA Brexit Prize went to Iain Mansfield, a 30 year old member of the diplomatic service based at the British Embassy in Manila. Which the FCO will love.
His winning pamphlet concluded that “in the event of an exit, there exists a scenario for an open, prosperous and globally engaged UK that is eminently achievable”. Also worth reading Lord Lawson, who presented the prize, tearing Clegg a new one in the Times today:
“Mr Clegg may have been trounced, and indeed humiliated, but his determination to strike fear in the minds of the public about the consequences of a British Exit – “Brexit” – was all too evident. In particular there was his absurd insistence that “three million jobs” depended on our membership of the EU, with the clear implication that they would disappear if we were to leave. This is complete nonsense.. The – in my view, beneficial – consequences of a Brexit need to be debated calmly and rationally. The IEA is to be congratulated for its initiative in launching this prize, as is Iain Mansfield for winning it.”
Even if – to the slight trepidation of the room – he doesn’t express an opinion on whether or not we should leave…
And how did David Cameron react to the pamphlet? He told the Commons he would be reading Nadine Dorries’ book instead.
UPDATE: To help Dave with that reading list the IEA have sent him a copy of both Mansfield’s pamphlet and Nads’ book:
Guido is greatly enjoying Jeremy Browne’s rallying call for right-wingers. Race Plan is actually very sound. As reported earlier, he only directly attacks Clegg once, but his position on Europe is completely at odds with his leader and party. In fact, it’s another direct example where Browne is totally in line with Cameron:
“So my support of British membership of the European Union is not blind or unconditional – quite the opposite. The terms of our membership, and the institutional architecture of the European Union as a whole, needs serious recalibration. The idea of “ever closer union” - an always slightly sinister notion of being dragged further into an organisation that the rules at the time actually stated – is surely now redundant. Britain is not seeking to join the Euro, which would be the obvious manifestation so “ever closer union” and cannot therefore claim to want to be “at the heart of Europe”.
Come on Jezza, you don’t need those pinkos.
Desperate to draw blood tomorrow, Nick Clegg has cracked out the Student Debating Playbook. The Deputy Prime Minister’s taxpayer-funded Special Adviser Adam Pritchard is secretly approaching bosses from household name firms to try get them to sign this pre-drafted letter to be placed in a paper tomorrow morning:
Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage will this week hold their second debate on the question of Britain’s future in Europe. As leading transport companies representing all sectors, we are clear that the UK should remain in the European Union which has delivered unparalleled benefits for the British transport and freight sector by allowing our companies to cross borders and enter markets across Europe. The dismantling of trade barriers has been responsible for cheaper prices for consumers and a dramatic increase in the choice of destinations at the fingertips of holidaymakers across the country.
It is crucial that we do not cut ourselves off from the rest of Europe and that we defend the future health of the transport sector and the hundreds of thousands (or millions?) of jobs it supports. Leaving the EU would take us from economic certainty to huge uncertainty with the potential for extra costs and burdensome barriers impeding freight flows and harming passengers, businesses and employees alike.
The EU needs reform. The full potential of the single market is yet to be fully realised and we must break down the final barriers to transport and trade. However, to seize these opportunities, the UK needs to be in Europe leading reform, working with other countries and delivering the changes that will boost our trade within the EU and beyond.
Clegg will then brandish this letter from the podium as if he had nothing to do with it. Well that was the plan anyway…
Last week we had Clegg’s office admit that the DPM was being briefed by taxpayer funded civil servants for his robotic ‘fact’ barrage at Farage, now this week his taxpayer-funded gofers are attempting trickery. It’s as if Clegg is scared…
The YouGov/Sun poll speaks for itself: Farage had a 12 point boost in his personal approval rating after last night, narrowly winning the debate on jobs and leaving the EU. Worth noting Clegg also saw a 4 point rise in the “positive impression” category. The LibDems are in full damage limitation mode this morning, claiming “the real winners are the voters” and “it’s a marathon not a sprint”. We’re getting closer to the finish line…
UPDATE: Blurt’s Twitter worm analysis confirms a narrow win for Farage:
Has Nick Clegg been using civil service resources for party political preparation for tonight’s debate against Nigel Farage? He is not appearing at the LBC Debate in his capacity as Deputy Prime Minister rather, as a LibDem spokesman told Guido this morning: “Tonight is the leaders’ debate so Nick is appearing as the Leader of of the Liberal Democrat Party”. It’s a very political event…
As Deputy Prime Minister Clegg is allowed to request factual briefings on government policy whenever he likes, yet sources familiar with the situation have indicated to Guido that they believe he has strayed beyond this and into party political territory. “He’s asking for all sorts of things, beyond government policy on Europe”, one told Guido this morning. It is believed by some that the briefings have been prepared to back up attack lines on UKIP – a big no, no for civil servants.
Nick Clegg’s spokesman denies that they have done anything wrong, but did confirm that civil servants have briefed the DPM for this specific political event:
“Nick Clegg is Deputy Prime Minister as well as Leader of the Liberal Democrats. He is regularly briefed on all aspects of Government policy, including Europe, before public appearances, such as DPMQs or Call Clegg on LBC. It is very likely that during the debates he be asked about Coalition Government policies and the relationship between the British Government, of which he is Deputy Prime Minister, and the European Union. To that end, he has been given factual briefings and facts and figures on Coalition Government policy and how the EU works in relation to Britain. But the briefings for the debates are being done by political advisers and HQ staff.”
Guido has requested a copy of all the debate preparation from the Cabinet Office under the Freedom of Information Act.
It is worth noting that the ‘General Principle’ of the Ministerial Code states:
“Facilities provided to Ministers at Government expense to enable them to carry out their official duties should not be used for Party or constituency work.”
Point 6.3 makes things a little clearer:
“Official facilities and resources may not be used for the dissemination of material which is essentially party political.”
Should it emerge that Clegg used civil servant briefings on issues beyond government policy on Europe to prepare for tonight’s debate then Guido cannot see how he has not fallen foul of this point.
Labour’s Plan to Attack Part-Time Boris | Standard
Ex-Sun Hack Cleared After 582 Days on Bail | MediaGuido
11 Times Boris Denied He Would Stand for Parliament | Buzzfeed
Attacking UKIP’s Posters is Counter-Productive | Guardian
Sarkozy Tried it on With Hollande’s Ex | Times
Another Spare Room Subsidy Cut Success | Harry Phibbs
Rich Now Have Less Leisure Than Poor | Economist
UKIP’s Immigration Policy Promotes Migrant Entrepreneurs | Breitbart
Another Feminist Lecture | Laura Perrins
UKIP Posters Bad Economics But Good Politics | James Delingpole
Tories Losing to UKIP in Scotland | ConHome
A confused Nick Griffin says Nigel Farage is a shill for the City, forgetting that City banks want to stay in the EU:
“Farage is a snake oil salesman, but a very good one. His supposed anti-immigration stance is all smoke and mirrors, as is his carefully cultivated image as a ‘man of the people’. The truth is that UKIP is a pro-immigration party that exists to lobby for the interests of the City of London.”