Friday, January 31, 2014

Richest Hit Hardest Since Recession

Miliband wowed us all with the stunning originality of his attack on Cameron at PMQs this week:

“With every answer, the Prime Minister shows who he stands up for: a few at the top, not the ordinary families of Britain. That is the truth. This is a country where, after four years of this Government, people are worse off. This is a Prime Minister who has already given those at the top, millionaires, a £100,000 tax cut, and he wants to give them another one. He can only govern for the few; he can never govern for the many.”

Which fits cutely into Ed’s increasingly dull narrative. Buried within the spin about today’s Institute for Fiscal Studies numbers is the proof that, whatever Ed wants to believe, the richest have been hit hardest. The wealthiest decile have seen their incomes fall by 9% since the recession, while by comparison the poorest decile have suffered a relatively smaller drop of 2.4%. Add that to the richest paying more in tax than they did under Labour and Ed’s line falls apart. Guido does not agree with the Tories line that taking more in tax from the rich is something to be proud of, though it makes a mockery of Labour’s attacks either way…

Have Your SayAnother thing to take away from the report is that the IFS data model also supports the emerging consensus that the “cost of living crisis” is coming to an end and barely touched those on inflation indexed benefits. Whilst those famous hardworking voters saw a real terms decrease in spending power, Labour’s core shirking voters saw no real terms fall in spending power on Benefits Street until this year’s reforms.

It was way past the time that the Tories made good on their promise that work would always pay better than benefits… 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Misery Index: January Blues

The good news, as someone once said, keeps on coming with unemployment falling from 7.4% to 7.1% today. That hasn’t stopped the January blues leaving us all a little bit sadder than we were before Christmas however. There has been a small increase in Retail Price Index inflation, though the real downer has been the rise in the Public Sector Net Cash Requirement. There is not yet a measure available to determine how party poopers doing dry January have affected results.

N.B. stats bods can check Guido’s adding up here.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

9 Out of 10 Top Dole Claiming Constituencies are Labour

Some top number-crunching by the calculator-bashers over at the Backbencher this morning. They have worked out that, taking away Northern Irish seats where Labour do not stand, 90% of the top 100 constituencies that claim Jobseekers’ Allowance have Labour MPs. Just 28 of the highest 200 JSA claiming seats have MPs other than Labour. You can see all the data and the full list of constituencies here. Worth taking a look at the majorities as well. Time for Labour to change their name? 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Fix the Roof While the Sun is Shining Update

Everything you need to know about today’s unemployment figures:

  • Employment rate is 72.0%.
  • There were 30.09 million people in employment aged 16 and over, up 250,000 from May to July 2013 and up 485,000 from a year earlier.
  • Uunemployment rate is 7.4%, down 0.3% from May to July 2013 and down 0.5 from a year earlier.
  • There were 2.39 million unemployed people aged 16 and over, down 99,000 from May to July 2013 and down 121,000 from a year earlier.
  • Economic inactivity rate is 22.1% (the lowest since 1991).
  • Total pay rose by 0.9% compared with August to October 2012.

Which all makes for a fun PMQs for Ed later…

Labour are admitting this is good news but already hammering out their line that it is the ‘cost-of-living crisis’ that really matters. A ComRes poll today shows just 25% see the cost of living crisis as an economic priority, with 41% saying they want the government to focus on growth. Another great Miliband public opinion success…

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

UKIP Polling Up to 30% in Key Swing Seats
Donor Buys Page Ad in Telegraph to Rebut Ashcroft

Four more constituency polls from Survation out this morning, bankrolled by UKIP’s millionaire bookie donor Alan Bown. UKIP are up to 28% in Folkestone and Hythe, 30% in Great Yarmouth and 27% in Bognor Regis & Littlehampton. In Crewe and Nantwich they are only on 11%, but the Tories fall behind Labour into second. Indeed the Tories are down by an average of 14 points on their 2010 results across the four seats. You can use the drop down box on the interactive graph above to see the results in full.

Bown has taken out a full page ad in today’s Telegraph to answer Lord Ashcroft’s claim that voting UKIP puts Miliband into Number 10. UKIP have two lines on this. First, that today’s polls show the net gain to the Tories if UKIP were not to field a candidate would be only 2% nationally. Only 26% of voters polled said they would vote Tory if UKIP did not run so, put simply, not enough are not going to ‘come home’ in 2015 as the Tories hope. Second, that UKIP voters do not really care if Miliband becomes PM. 53% said they would rather vote UKIP than Tory even if that meant Ed won, just 33% said they would vote Tory instead of UKIP to stop him. That is the number that will cost the Tories in 2015…

Friday, December 13, 2013

52% Dislike Ed Balls’ Policies

This should do wonders for Ed Balls following his nightmare fortnight. A new Ipsos Mori poll finds that Balls’ policies are rejected by the public by two to one, with 52% disliking and just 26% liking his plan for the economy. Balls is now well behind Osborne on trust as well, 40% prefer George and only 29% Ed. Just 39% of Labour supporters said they like Balls. Wonder if he gives a toss yet?

Monday, December 9, 2013

Gordon’s Mandela Speech in Stats

“I” x 12.

“My” x 4.

“Me” x 2.

“Nelson Mandela” x 13.

Total: Gordon 18, Mandela 13.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

OBR’s Election Gift to Tories, Maybe

Good unemployment and growth news from those always reliable soothsayers, the Office for Budget Responsibility. They reckon unemployment will fall from 7.6% to 7% in 2015, then again to 5.6% by 2018. Which means that Mark Carney’s “threshold” for changing interest rate policy will not be crossed this side of an election.

Growth for this year is more than doubled to 1.4% from 0.6%, also up next year to 2.4% from 1.8%. (Worth noting that in 2010 the OBR thought 2013 growth would hit nearly 3%, in March this year dropped it to 0.6%, and they have now put it back up again). Do keep up.

So Osborne claims his government is fixing the roof while the sun is shining and the numbers sort of back him up. But they might be wrong, or maybe not. Ask them again in a year’s time.

Regardless of the tinkering, the Government will borrow £111 billion this year, just shy of £10 billion less than predicted in March. We will still be borrowing £96 billion next year; then £79 billion, £51 billion and £23 billion in the subsequent years. Osborne claims we will be in the black by 2018/19, in the latter half of the next parliament. An OBR provided election slogan right there: don’t let Labour ruin it etcetera. Convenient!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

GRAPHS: Labour 20 Points Clear in Key Marginals

Two more Survation polls on key marginals out this morning. If the trends in the three constituencies polled so far turn out to be representative, it is pretty clear what the consequences are for the Tories. In Great Grimsby Labour are 20 points clear, as UKIP rise to second place on 22%:

In Dudley North Labour have another 20 point lead, with the Tories down 12% on 2010 and the LibDems on 2%, almost competely wiped out. UKIP are up on 23%.

More worryingly for the Tories, 70 percent of UKIP voters say they did not vote Tory in 2010. So they are aren’t exactly going to come home. The UKIP effect on 2015 is becoming ever clearer…

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Misery Index: Least Miserable We’ve Been Since Election

Chipper Mark Carney’s good news day seems a good time to check in on our Misery Index. Unemployment is down, inflation is down and growth is up, so across the land there are warm smiles and happy faces everywhere. Maybe. The seasonal drop in public sector borrowing has had a big impact too. We are the least miserable we’ve been since 2010.

N.B. stats bods can check Guido’s adding up here.

UPDATE:

misery-breakdown

Co-conspirator Tom Cook says breaking it down into components “still shows the overall picture clearly but shows which factors lead to changes – especially helpful given some of the wild swings in the total.  This presentation shows that most of the volatility is from public sector borrowing, while the longer term trend is from falling inflation and unemployment.”


Seen Elsewhere

Thacker Played Down Scandal | Times
How Clegg Lost the Women of Britain | Sophy Ridge
Multiculturalism: At What Price? | Allison Pearson
Labour Failed Those Victims | Labour Uncut
We Cannot Ignore the Race Issue Here | Dan Hodges
74 MPs Who Back Stop Mills Motion | Speccie
Milibande | Ian Birrell
The True Meaning of Political Correctness Gone Mad | Speccie
Nigel, Nigel, Nigel! | Bloomberg
Bercow Blinks | Guardian
Speaker on the Ropes | Indy


VOTER-RECALL
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Former Rotheram MP Denis MacShane concedes…

“I think there was a culture of not wanting to rock the multicultural community boat if I may put it like that… Perhaps yes, as a true Guardian reader, and liberal leftie, I suppose I didn’t want to raise that too hard.”



Owen Jones says:

We also need Zil lanes.


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