Friday, April 25, 2008

New YouGov Poll

There's a poll in today's Daily Telegraph which makes grim reading for Gordon Brown. However, I've just got hold of the Scottish breakdown (It's a Westminster poll), which runs as follows:

SNP - 35%
Labour - 28%
Con - 22%
Lib Dem - 12%

Usual health warnings about small sample sizes apply... but the high polling for the Tories aside, they're not so very out of step with recent trends. It may not be the actual numbers which are so important, as the direction of travel with Labour's ratings rapidly heading South as the SNP continue to do well.

Electoral Calculus makes for interesting reading if you plug these figures in. The SNP take 25 seats; Labour would be on 21; there's a mini-Tory revival taking them to 7; while the Lib Dems plummet to 6. Interesting times... :-)

11 comments:

Stephen Glenn said...

Never really take much notice of electoral calculus to be honest. Especially the poll of polls data I put in on election day about 4am in 2005 gave me 10%, only 2/3 of what I actually acheived.

As you say health warnings are to be attached, although Labour are doing badly both north and south of the border does apear to be a recurring trend. The other's have not really got enough consistancy to them to judge.

Richard Thomson said...

As Peter Snow always used to say, it is 'just a bit of fun'.

Those personal ratings for Gordon Brown are absolutely dire, though. The only crumb of comfort for him must be that although the Tories are doing well in English voting intentions, people don't seem to be warming all that rapidly to David Cameron as an individual.

Even then, it's not much of a straw to clutch at.

Ricky Simpson said...

The SNP lead has fallen? It was at 40% in the last poll....although I do concede that Labour has been a shambles these last few days.

Just think though, once people find out about the Scottish Futures Trust being worse than PFI and that you can in no way match labours school building programme....those number may change.

"So lacking in detail, we can only point out the gaps....will cost more" - The Chartered Institute of Public Finance Accountants

Cosla - "illegal"

As much as the SNP might hate it, you still have to abide by the Scotland Act....

Richard Thomson said...

Contain yourself, Ricky - the 40% poll was for Holyrood, this one is for Westminster.

As for the consultation responses, nowhere does the COSLA response use the word "illegal". Their response suggests that they believe bond issues may be outwith the powers of Holyrood. However, that is not something in which COSLA is any kind of arbiter.

In any case, bond issues are not the only way that capital could be raised. Incidentally, did you know that Barnett Council in London is planning to issue bonds as a means of securing public investment? Now, if a London burgh can do it...

For CIPFA, it says nothing like "So lacking in detail, we can only point out the gaps....will cost more"

You could have chosen instead to highlight the following paragraphs:

1.5 Proposals for what is significant reform of capital investment are worthy of detailed consideration and the strong recommendation of CIPFA is that further consultation is undertaken once the Scottish Government is able to be clearer on its proposals.

1.6 Notwithstanding the absence of detail, and in the spirit of assistance, CIPFA has in this paper attempted to indicate where significant gaps remain and also, to guide the Scottish Government on what further and fundamental questions of both a professional and policy nature remain to be asked or addressed.


I suspect you've probably paraphrased from Douglas Fraser's Herald article of the 19th. As any historian will tell you, you should always be careful when relying on secondary sources. Primary sources, when set in their proper context, are always more reliable...

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2008/04/18161301/0

Ricky Simpson said...

I paraphrased from that awful consultation....do you think it professional that a government can be accused of lacking in detail? Its not the first time either....we still don't know how much of a black hole is left by the LIT.

Bonds cannot be issued by the Scottish Government....hence any idea that they could is wrong in law, ergo...illegal.

Coupled with the fact that the proposals for local income tax are illegal as well...."LOCAL" income tax set centrally...come off it...

The point remains though....how can the SNP possibly keep their "PROMISE" to match the school building programme...without using PFI? Or having to perform the mother of all U-turns after bashing it to death....

You still have to build the new forth bridge as well....is it all going to come from the state?

Ricky Simpson said...

Latin -"paraphrasis" - addition manner of expression of which the essential meaning is the same.....

"able to be clearer on its proposals." - Gaps....

"Notwithstanding the absence of detail." - Gaps...lacking in detail.

4.7, Cost of Borrowing

SFT will cost more. We fail to see how , as claimed in paragraph 2.1 of the consultation document, that the SFT will provide opportunities for securing cheaper funding costs....cost more.

Jeff said...

Brilliant poll!

SNP sitting at 35% for Westminster beggars belief.

Those 20 MPs are looking a bit low at this stage....

Richard Thomson said...

Well, Ricky, if it comes down to it, I suppose anyone could potentially be accused of anything, whether it's true or not. By way of an example, maybe one day Wendy Alexander might be accused of being halfway competent, and Labour of presenting a constructive alternative government for Scotland ;-)

Obviously, there's work to be done on the Trust proposals. However, with the ONS insisting that PFI debt comes back on balance sheet as Government debt, it has at a stroke become a less attractive funding mechanism for government. Thanks to this change in accounting rules, it is only the lack of borrowing powers at Holyrood which would leave PFI as a viable investment choice in most cases.

I'd be interested to know where the Scotland Act prohibits bond issues, or the creation of capital vehicles for the purposes of public investment. While you're at it, since you seem to be so keen on Latin tags, maybe you could also dig out the statutory definition of the word 'local' which would be necesary to render LIT as presently envisaged as being ultra vires?

Happy hunting! :-)

Ricky Simpson said...

Wendy does need to be more stateswoman like, the digs a AS are all very well, but she is the First Minister in waiting and needs to act like it. After the concordat expires and council tax goes through the roof (or after all the cuts) - people will desert the SNP.

The Trump affair...although salmonds intentions were most likely genuine, it does reek of incompetence that he has turned something as relatively simple as a golf course application into a matter of national concern. Doesn't really send out a good impression to international investment...


Scotland Act, Part II Specific reservations -Financial and Economic Matters[Section A1 exception]

"Local taxes to fund local authority expenditure (for example, council tax and non-domestic rates)."

To be lawful, it must be locally raised and locally administered. No lawyer could argue that a centrally set rate is local. Also, locality is implied by the mention of a local authority, in that only a local body has the power to vary a local tax rate. LIT in its present form is quite obviously beyond the power of the Scotland Act and well outside the scope of any prerogative.

Of course, if the councils could set it....then it would probably be lawful. That would be another U-turn though.

Richard Thomson said...

To be lawful, it must be locally raised and locally administered.

Sorry - that's just empty assertion. Local isn't defined in any legal sense in the Scotland Act. 'Local Taxes to fund Local Authority expenditure' means no more and no less than the taxes which directly support local authorities. It makes no prohibition on the form that taxation might take - it could even a window tax set nationally as we used to have many centuries ago.

Of course, if the councils could set it....then it would probably be lawful. That would be another U-turn though.

You know something? I actually want the tax to be set locally - I just see merit in setting it centrally, at least to begin with. However, if the price of getting it through parliament is to have Wendy et. al. caterwauling about 'U-turns' and claiming a victory as the council tax disappears away down the plughole, then I suppose that's a burden I'll just have to bear as stoicly as I can.

Ranter said...

Er, Ricky with repect to your local taxes to fund local authority expenditure bit...

How do you account for Non-Domestic rates - which the act mentions in the same breath as local taxes to fund local authority expenditure.

NDRs are centrally set and pooled by the Scottish Government.......