Thursday, December 18, 2014

Danny’s Balls

dannys-ball-forecasts2

Guido has in the past reflected on the accuracy of Danny Blanchflower’s economic forecasting. How have his more recent forecasts of doom and gloom fared?

“Pay is going nowhere,” said the sage of Dartmouth last month, warning “we won’t see real wage growth until 2016 at the earliest”. Dopey Danny was following up on his June prediction that there is little likelihood of real wage growth rising in the months ahead”. He also made the same warning in May“I wish the MPC good luck with their forecast that real wages are set to rise in the second half of 2014″.

Lo and behold, today’s ONS data shows that “average earnings are now definitely rising”. He really should throw away his crystal ball…

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

LibDems Spent £1.5 Million on Winning One Euro Seat

The Electoral Commission today reveals how much each party spent on their European election campaigns. The big bucks splashed by the Tories and UKIP meant they paid six figures for each seat won. Labour got best value for money, spending just over a million quid for their 20 seats, or just over £50,000 per MEP.

The LibDems blew £1.5 million with just one MEP to show for it…

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Greens 2 Points Ahead of LibDems For First Time

Labour and UKIP types talking down the Green Surge should beware today’s YouGov/Sun poll. For the first time the Greens are two points clear of the LibDems, with Natalie Bennett’s party hotting up to 8% and Nick Clegg’s melting away to 6%. As you can see from the full numbers in Guido’s tracker, the Greens’ poll rating is rising faster than the anthropogenic concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere…

Friday, December 12, 2014

Labour Oppositions Never Gain Ground in Final Six Months

Fascinating analysis on ConHome showing how Labour’s poll ratings six months out from elections have historically compared with the final election result. Guido’s graph above illustrates how “Labour consistently end up winning fewer votes in the general election than the polls would have suggested six months in advance”. Lewis Baston concludes: “Governments gain more often than oppositions: if my Conservative-supporting readers want some comfort, there are no cases of a Labour opposition gaining ground over the final six months”. Something for Tory MPs to cling onto going into next year…

Thursday, December 11, 2014

YouGov/Sun Poll Tracker: Greens in Fourth Again

The YouGov website does not include the Green Party in their voting intentions graphs, so Guido has decided to give them their deserved billing. Once again the Greens are in fourth today, knocking the LibDems down into fifth. As you can see above this is starting to look like a trend. You can read the numbers in full here. Natalie Bennett says “a grassroots green revolution is under way”…

Poll: Labour Won’t Deliver “Programme British People Want”

How many relaunches is that now? Ed Miliband’s big speech on the economy today is being tipped by sympathetic quarters of the press as showing Labour are serious about reducing the deficit, so at least there’s no chance he will forget to mention it this time. Yet Ed is also going to attack the Tories for planning to cut spending to “1930s levels”, insisting “That is not our programme, that will never be our programme, and I do not believe it is the programme the British people want”. Just one problem: a ComRes poll for ITV out last night shows that this is the “programme the British people want”. 33% support cutting spending to 1930s levels, 26% oppose. Another great relaunch success…

Thursday, December 4, 2014

First They Came for the Upper Decile…

top-decile

Yesterday was another orgy of “bash the rich” political populism. Once again, as the above chart from the Treasury shows, the most productive people were punished the most by the Chancellor. This is because he thinks it is good politics. It isn’t.

Osborne boasts that he is putting the biggest burdens on the broadest shoulders because “the rich can afford it”, a view widely held across the political spectrum, even some Tory MPs agree. They might have a rethink when they understand that the upper income decile getting clobbered year after year is not the mansion and yacht owning super rich, it includes them. The median gross income that puts an individual in the top decile is £60,500, that is less than what an MP earns. The same MPs whom so often claim they can’t live in London on their salaries….

Since 2010 Osborne has gone out of his way to make sure that the gini coefficient is better than it was under Gordon Brown, the measure of income inequality shows that inequality is declining under the coalition, the rich are not getting richer relative to the rest of the population. We are all relatively poorer is Osborne’s pathetic boast.

quintiles-since-2010

By the next election the upper quintile since 2010 will have suffered the most under this government – upper income voters are usually well disposed towards voting Conservative,  yet the Chancellor clobbers his core vote. Why do members of the commentariat glibly repeat that Osborne is a strategic genius? The Conservative voter’s answer to Reagan’s famous question “Are you better off now than you were four years?” is most likely “no”. For an individual to be in the upper income quintile they have to earn the princely sum of £39,800. Not exactly people who spend their weekdays in mansions and weekends on yachts… 

Why does the son of a baronet do it? It is because he is the son of a baronet that he feels he has to do it, the toxicity of the posh, rich charge is what they fear most. The polls persistently show that people think they – Cameron and Osborne – don’t understand “ordinary people like us”. So to neutralise the charge they punish their own supporters most, and it still doesn’t do any good…

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

45% of Satanists Vote Tory

Firefighting the somewhat unfortunate endorsement of UKIP by Nick Griffin, telly’s Suzanne Evans produced the stat of the day:

From whence came this macabre revelation? Archbishop Cranmer has found the answer:

“The article to which she refers is ‘Satanism in Britain Today’ by Graham Harvey in the Journal of Contemporary Religion (10:3, 1995). So it’s not so contemporary, but certainly worth a bit of extrapolation. Harvey found that 45 per cent of self-identifying Satanists voted Conservative in the 1992 General Election.”

So Suzanne was only slightly exaggerating. Lynton Crosby’s core vote strategy in action…

Thursday, November 27, 2014

77% Increase in Immigration From Romania and Bulgaria

Via the ONS:

  • Net migration was 260,000 last year, a statistically significant increase from 182,000 in the previous 12 months.
  • It remains below the peak of 320,000 in the year ending June 2005.
  • 583,000 people immigrated last year, a statistically significant increase from 502,000 in the previous 12 months. There were statistically significant increases in immigration of EU (up 45,000) and non-EU (up 30,000) citizens.
  • 323,000 people emigrated last year.
  • National Insurance Number (NINo) registrations to adult overseas nationals increased by 12% to 668,000 in the year ending September 2014 from the previous year. Romanian citizens had the highest number of registrations (104,000), followed by Polish citizens (98,000).
  • 32,000 Romanian and Bulgarian citizens immigrated last year, a statistically significant increase from 18,000 in the previous 12 months.

So the government’s net migration figure has gone the same way as the deficit figure, the wrong way…

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Green Surge Potential

likely-to-win

Sadiq Khan has been tasked with running Labour’s new anti-Green attack unit, because Labour’s strategists increasingly fear that the Greens could become the UKIP of the left. The Greens are now regularly out-polling the LibDems and beat them in the Rochester and Strood by-election. The party itself is now predicting a “Green Spring” next year, this YouGov poll shows the potential for the Greens, their vote would soar if only voters thought they could win. YouGov asked “If candidates from the following parties were standing in your constituency and had a chance of winning, how likely would you be to vote for them?” In those circumstances the Greens would surge to 26% ahead of UKIP on 24%, the LibDems would rise to only 16%.

So how could that happen? Perhaps if the likes of Russell Brand and Owen Jones – who is openly despondent about Miliband – were to shift allegiances to the only party which is idealistically left-wing and polling well, it could happen. Millions of idealistic impressionable younger voters are entirely uninspired by Ed Miliband. Owen might just get that “UKIP of the left” he wants…


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