Sunday, April 13, 2014

Latest Polls Have New Highs for UKIP
Miliband Win Worse for Tories Than Farage Win

BRITAINS-EURO-ELECTION-NEWS-SOURCE

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:

ukip-source-voters

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.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Worst Politician Selfie Idea Yet

BRITAINS-EURO-ELECTION-NEWS-SOURCE

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 aself-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!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Winner From Manila

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:

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Browne Totally at Odds With LibDems on Europe

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.

Race Plan  is available on Amazon for £10.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Clegg Using Taxpayer Funded SpAd for Secret Debate Trick

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:

Dear Sir,

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.

Yours

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… 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

How Farage Won Last Night’s Debate

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:

 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Clegg Denies Inappropriate Use of Civil Service for Debate Prep

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. 

 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

ComRes Indy/Mirror Euro Poll Puts UKIP 9% Ahead of Tories

BRITAINS-EURO-ELECTION-NEWS-SOURCE

The UK Independence Party is on course to win the largest share of the vote in the European Parliament elections in May, according to a ComRes opinion poll for The Independent on Sunday and Sunday Mirror.

UKIP  30% (+3)
Lab  28% (+5)
Con  21% (0)
LD  8% (-10)
Green  6% (+2)
Other  7% (0)

This is the first poll to ask separate questions about the European elections for some time. The figures for European voting are based on the 38% who say they are “absolutely certain” to vote in those elections – roughly comparable to the 34% turnout in the last elections in 2009.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Labour React to Referendum Fudge

The more sensible Labour MPs don’t exactly sound delighted about having to explain Miliband’s yeah-but-no-but referendum position to voters.

Graham Stringer is most damning, telling Ed “I am very disappointed by this… shoddy compromise,” and that the fudge is “impossible to sell on the doorstep.”

Level-headed Kate Hoey adds “I think it’s meant to be a clever compromise, I don’t think it’s going to end up as one,” confirming that a referendum under a Labour government is now “almost impossible”.

John Mann wrote to Miliband just yesterday asking for an EU referendum so he was disappointed within hours. Mann says Labour’s announcement is “a significant move in the right direction but I would encourage him to go further than he’s gone today… Labour voters want to see their voice being heard. They want to be trusted.”

And Labour donor John Mills ain’t happy given he has campaigned for a referendum and now won’t be getting what he wanted for his money: “The growth of the EU’s influence over Britain warrants a referendum regardless of future events.”

Still at least Mandy’s happy. This all could have been avoided so easily…

Miliband Bottles EU Referendum

Back in 2011 Guido recommended that Miliband call for an in/out EU referendum. It would have helped him make an impact with ordinary, sensible voters, distanced himself from Brown and Blair and wounded “cast iron” Cameron over his failure to keep his own referendum promise. Today’s announcement confirms that an in/out referendum would be “unlikely” under a Labour government. Miliband is ruling out a vote unless “significant” treaty changes are proposed. The Labour leader had the chance to lead on this issue, to outflank the Tories and offer voters something clear and definitive. Instead he has given them a deliberately vague fudge. Miliband says this morning that “you can’t trust the Tories on Europe”. He is the man who doesn’t trust the people on Europe… 


Seen Elsewhere

Tories: Ruffley Critics are ‘Minority Feminist Groups’ | Buzzfeed
Harriet Harman Offers Less Than the Living Wage | Owen Bennett
Fallon’s Red Arrow Spin Unravels | Wings Over Scotland
What is the LibDems’ Problem With “The Jews” | Speccie
Image is the Least of Ed’s Worries | Speccie
The Most Politically Cynical Speech I Have Ever Seen | Dan Hodges
Full Sunday Sport Style Guide Email | MediaGuido
What if a Hamas Rocket Hit a BA Plane? | Richard Littlejohn
Sunday Sport Swearing Style Guide | Popbitch
Tory MP’s Love of Astrology | BBC
No.10 Shouldn’t Get Excited at Growth Figures | Mark Wallace


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New Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has big ambitions in his first meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu today:

“I came to bring this conflict to an end.”



Christie Malry @fcablog

Ed Miliband does photo oops, not photo ops


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