Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Clegg Has the Big Mo, Can He Seal the Deal?

With just over two weeks to go and the latest polls showing the LibDems in the lead Cleggmania is now everywhere, tomorrow the Guy News poll of polls rolling average will likely show  the LibDems neck and neck or ahead of the Tories. As Brown and the left cling to the hope of a “progressive coalition” YouGov’s Peter Kellner highlights research showing that whereas 52% of voters would be ‘dismayed’ by a Gordon Brown government, some 42% of the electorate would be ‘delighted’ or ‘wouldn’t mind’ a Lib-ConChange Coalition government.

Guido reads that as telling us that if Clegg signaled his intentions clearly he could seal the deal with the electorate.  If he looks into the camera and says, “under no circumstances will we keep Gordon Brown in government”, swing voters and Tory waverers would no longer fear a Lib-Lab coalition and 5 more years of Gordon Brown, he could break-through to nearer 40% of the popular vote.  Clegg might even win outright…

UPDATE : On the Politics Smarkets Clegg’s price seems cheap for Next PM after Gordon: Clegg is worth backing at 14%, Cameron is still favourite on 65%. Harman 17%, Miliband 14%, Balls 10%, and Johnson 10% are also in the running.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Guy News : Cleggmania!

As Cleggmania grips the country, Guy News brings you a special report:

Vote-Mapping : LibDems Vote Increasingly with the Tories

As the howls of anguish seep out of CCHQ that the LibDems will keep Brown in, Guido begs to differ, there is that risk of course but it is not as great a risk as they claim.  There is also a great prize on offer, Brown can lead the Labour Party over the abyss into electoral oblivion destroying the Labour Party as a party of government.  Statist, redistibutive social democracy has now been tested to the destruction of the nation’s finances.  This election now presents an historic chance to break the Labour Party.

As Tories scream and point to Lib-Lab councils and the bearded sandal wearing activists who want to ban the bomb and legalise dope for purchase in euros, Guido says look at the reality.  Since Charlie Kennedy’s demise the LibDems have been moving quietly to the right on economics, have jettisoned a lot of their loopiest policies and the Tories under Cameron have moved towards the LibDems on civil liberties, the environment and localism.  The parties respective policies are closer now than they have been for over half-a-century.  Cameron is telling the truth when he says that he is a liberal-conservative.  Nick Clegg is a former Cambridge Conservative who is now a Liberal.  They fact is they are both instinctively liberal metropolitan modernisers.

“But they are weirdie beardies” cry the Cameroon girls and boys distastefully in CCHQ.  LibDem activists may be, but the parliamentary party is not and it is the parliamentary party with which they would have to work with in government.  Here is a vote map based on data from MySociety’s Public Whip showing how increasingly over the course of the last three parliaments the LibDems more and more vote with the Tories:

We are possibly entering into an era of multi-party realpolitik.  Clegg isn’t stupid, he won’t want to prop up Gordon Brown, it would infuriate voters and betray his whole change message.  He is going to prefer to do a deal with the other ‘change’ candidate.  If Cameron together with Clegg play it right, they can destroy the Labour Party forever…

Quote of the Day

Student Chris Williams asked Nick Clegg…

“You appear as this man of the people, with this Yorkshire constituency that’s very ‘down with the workers’. You had a very well-off South East upbringing, the son of a well-off banker, and you went to private school and then on to Cambridge, so what really makes you any different to David Cameron?”

Monday, April 19, 2010

Cleggmania and Punk Tax Cutting Outflanks Finkism


The YouGov daily poll this morning has the Lib Dems on 33%, the Tories on 32% and Labour on 26%.  The Guy News rolling poll of polls above is also reflecting the dramatic rise of the LibDems, if they hold their gains after Thursday’s debate it will confirm that this is no mere bubble. The same YouGov poll asked a number of policy questions including this one on the LibDem’s populist winning-on-the-doorstep tax policy:

Here are some proposals that have been made in the current election. In each case, do you support or oppose it?

Tax: Scrap income tax on earnings of less than £10,000 a year. The £17billion cost of this will be paid for by a tax on bigger houses, a tax on airline flights, restricting tax relief on pensions savings for higher-rate taxpayers, and attempting to clamp down on tax avoidance.

  • Support: 66%
  • Oppose: 20%
  • Don’t know: 14%

Danny Finkelstein and Guido had a bit of Twitter spat about this last night. Guido holds Fink responsible for accepting the Balls/Brown dividing lines and helping to foist on the Tories their “no tax cuts” position.  A policy position that Guido sees as cowardice in the face of the enemy. Relying on the momentum for “change” and making the election a referendum on Gordon left one huge exposed flank – they had forgotten the other “change” candidate and they have now been outflanked not just on change but also on what was once their politically Unique Selling Point – tax cuts.  Don’t say Guido hasn’t warned Fink publicly and repeatedly, as far back as November 2008, that what he advocated allowed the Tories to be outflanked. Clegg himself even told Fink that he was wrong saying “I’m not sure I’ve ever been called a “punk tax cutter” before. I quite like the label… Danny Finklestein is wrong, and cutting taxes is right… Growth is what we need now.” Fink still hasn’t justified his ridiculous over the top claim that the economy would be destabilised by tax cuts with a single historical example of this ever happening.

More real-time polling from Google trends shows what people are searching for online, it suggests people want to know more Nick Clegg:

On the weekend a disappointed Tory insider told Guido they had searched through Clegg’s expense claims from his days as an MEP –  “He wasn’t on the take.”  Instead they are going to attack Clegg for being a former lobbyist – is that really wise when they are also led by a former lobbyist?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Change Coalition

Imagine it is the afternoon of May 7…

The Tories have received 33% of the popular vote, LibDems 29% and Labour 24%, a strong 6% showing by the BNP concentrated in Labour heartlands has shocked the political system and given the party its first Westminster MP in Stoke, where Labour’s vote split. UKIP’s Nigel Farage has taken Buckingham, after two recounts, by 7 votes.  Ed Balls has lost his Morley and Outwood seat to the Tory hero of election night, Antony Calvert.  The SNP has made strong gains strengthening Alex Salmond’s claims for Scotland to be granted more self determination.

Due to the iniquities of the electoral system Labour is still the largest party in Westminster, just.  Harriet Harman has demanded Gordon Brown resigns and announced her intention to seek the leadership, Miliband hasn’t been seen. Charlie Whelan publicly tweets blame on Mandelson’s electoral strategy and “corrupt Blairites” for Labour’s defeat.  Alastair Campbell is bailed at West London Magistrates’ Court after his live on-screen 3 a.m. drunken assault on Nick Robinson.

After unofficial back-channel communications between Samantha Cameron and her third-cousin at Buckingham Palace all morning, the Queen’s Private Secretary calls the leader of the Conservative Party and asks him to come to the palace.  The Private Secretary then calls Nick Clegg and asks him to come to the palace as well.

In what is the iconic picture of the election, Cameron walks out of his Millbank headquarters along the Thames embankment to 4 Cowley Street where Nick Clegg greets him and together they walk purposefully towards the Mall surrounded by photographers and cameramen as crowds cheer and many ask “which one is which?”

In what were reportedly good natured discussions all morning the terms of a “Change Coalition” had been agreed by 3 pm.  Clegg as expected is Home Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister, Cable is Chancellor, Osborne takes his old sparring partner’s job at Business. Phil Hammond and David Laws are tasked with cutting spending and reforming taxation at the Treasury.  Lord Adonis remains as the government’s Transport Minister, Frank Field returns to the Department for Work and Pensions, both take the Liberal whip. Chris Huhne, ominously for the coalition, chooses to go to the backbench rather than accept cabinet collective responsibility as Defence Minister.

The most difficult horse-trading over the coalition was of course over Europe and electoral reform. Hague went to the FCO much to the relief of the Tory base and Ed Davey becomes the cabinet’s Minister for Constitutional Reform (Douglas Carswell gets a promotion as his deputy with special responsiblity for localism).   The leaders realised that they could not take their respective parties with them if they compromised on either of these two issues.

The average age of the cabinet is now 44, the centre-piece of the Queen’s speech is to be a Great Repeal Bill, undoing 13 years of authoritarian legislation and strengthening civil liberties, restricting the growth of the surveillance and database society. The Big Society reform programme promises to fundamentally re-balance state and society in favour of a smaller more open government.  Cable promises an emergency budget within 30 days signalling tough action on the deficit.  The gilt market hits a 3 year high and the pound rallies 12% on the close.

Norman Tebbit, who was by her bedside, blogs the sad news that Baroness Thatcher has passed away.  Her last words were “Norman, they buried the Labour Party before me.”

Punters on Politics Smarkets says there is a 56% chance of a hung parliament

Friday, April 16, 2010

Clegg : Winning Here!


On Tuesday Guido predicted that Clegg would be the big winner, and so it came to pass.  Bad Al Campbell and Mandy must now realise that they have an impossible job to do in polishing the turd that is Gordon Brown.  Mrs Fawkes was scathing about the stiffness of Dave who did seem to be playing it safe too much. Labour and Tory spinners are reluctantly conceding victory to Clegg, before saying their guy came second.

In reality the slightly more objective measures, the immediate reaction polls, are unanimously scoring it Clegg first, Cameron second and Gordon last.

The focus group reactions will be studied carefully in the party campaign HQs and the leaders messages will be recalibrated for next Thursday accordingly.  The punters’ smart money at specialist bookmakers Political Smarkets went from heavily backing Cameron to making Clegg favourite to win the debate half-way through the ninety minutes.  Punters this morning reckon there is a 25% chance Clegg will win all three debates and a 60% chance that Brown will win none.  Guido thinks that it is a racing certainty that Brown is a no hoper in the debates…

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Clegg Will Be the Big Winner of the TV Debates

All credit to Nick Clegg for braving Paxman and coming through unscathed. Tim Montgomerie is advising Dave to duck Paxman and the chances of Gordon Brown finding the courage to endure a grilling are even more remote. The bookies currently make Cameron favourite to win the TV debate and the consensus of the commentariat is that he is a superior performer in the manner of Blair. What this interview shows is that if Clegg overcomes his tendency to waffle, he is no slouch either.

Dave has everything to lose, he is ahead in the polls, expectations are high, he is the superior debater, time and time again he has bloodied Brown’s nose at PMQs.  What the chancellor’s debate showed is that the guy in the middle, the LibDem, can do very well.  Clegg will be accorded equal status with the major party leaders, equal billing and equal time.

Clegg’s policy of equi-distant faux-neutrality shouldn’t be allowed to survive the debate night. He needs to say clearly what his rules of engagement will be in the event of a hung parliament. Logically his party should deal with the party with the most votes, not the most seats.  Since he is always telling us how unfair the first-past-the-post is, if he were to support a party with fewer votes in exchange for say, electoral reform, the voters might be entitled to think he was acting cynically out of party interest rather than reflecting the will of most of the people.   The LibDems wouldn’t do that, would they?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Why Hasn’t Clegg Congratulated Guido?

Cameron was quick to offer fraternal congratulations to Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats.  So far no word from Clegg, the Free Democrats are their sister party and sit with the LibDems in the European Parliament.

The German FDP have had their best showing in decades on a pro-business, tax-cutting manifesto which has driven the Social Democrats out of the government. Most LibDems seem disinterested, only LiberalVision is ecstatic. Makes you wonder if they prefer permanent opposition…

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Lies, Lies and Damned Statistics

Public Expenditure AnalysesThe sheer madness of Gordon’s state of denial became clear yesterday.  He stood there at PMQs and claimed spending would grow 0%.  He has set himself a dividing line alright, it is the line between economic reality and economic fantasy.  He is on the wrong side of that dividing line.

Andrew Grice reports that the rest of the Cabinet, including the Chancellor, wants him to take a reality check.  They have agreed to admit there will be some cuts out of necessity, but to argue that the Tories will cut more, this was the position that Mandelson argued for originally.  At PMQs Cameron and Clegg were united against Brown – the LibDem leader accused him of “living in complete denial”.  It appears the Cabinet agrees.  It remains to be seen whether or not they can get the Prime Mentalist to change his “no cuts” tune.

If you wade through the numbers in the Treasury’s recently released Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses 2009 (page 83), you can see the Tories are right about the government’s own plans to cut spending on services in real terms in 15 out of 25 departments in 2011.  Gordon’s lying has lost him the argument about cuts, the reality is it that it is a question about the degree and timing of cuts.


Seen Elsewhere

Corrupt, Incompetent UN Has No Right to Lecture Us | Dan Hannan
Mirror’s Lazy Lie | Guardian
Hungary’s Heir to Thatcher | Conservative Woman
Farage and Salmond Both Want Outopia | David Aaronovitch
More Missing UKIP Money | Times
Church Should Fight Evil of Welfare Dependency | Stephen Glover
1 in 16 Pick Up Infections in Filthy NHS Hospitals | Mail
Let’s Get Evangelical | David Cameron
From the IRA to Windsor Castle | WSJ
Coulson: Everything You Need to Know in 6 Seconds | MediaGuido
Mo Ansar’s Silence | Adrian Hilton


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Cathy Jamieson MP, Labour’s Shadow Treasury minister, commenting on Treasury analysis of the economic impact of tax changes…

“If the Treasury is looking at the economic impact of tax changes, then surely it should examine the impact of the rise in VAT and cuts to tax credits? George Osborne’s £12 billion VAT rise knocked confidence, helped to choke off the recovery and has cost families £1,350 over the last three years.”



orkneylad says:

What’s he been doing FFS, mining bitcoins?


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