« Who will defend the Union? Not Portillo | Main | Don't ever put sensitive material in an email »


I still don't see how Prescott can justify the office and corresponding expense when his actual repsonsibilites are small and difficult to discern.

David 'Rooney' Miliband for dpm? I saw him on QT this week and he came across as another new labour clone.

Is he really a blairite? one wonders how many true blairites exist. I would suggest their number consists only of those who are happy to go when blair goes! i.e. not many

Surely we want to keep Prescott in post a while longer? He can only continue to help us as long as he is in the news.
It is often a mistake to get a throughly bad batsman out, if you know that there is a much better one to come in.

According to electoral calculus:
CON 41.00% 344
LAB 31.00% 262
LIB 15.00% 9

42 seat majority. Taken with a pinch of salt of course.

Prescott's the best ambassador we could ever get.

Milliband is being groomed to challenge Brown, as has been obvious for some time. Barroso is making anti-Brown statements in Brussels (see this weeks's Spectator), where folk are uncertain about Gordon Brown's willingness to join the Euro or sign the Constitution.

Milliband has presumably agreed to carry on the Blair 'I'll agree to anything the EU wants as long as I get the media'.

Barroso owes Blair a payback for campaigning for his election as President of the Commission. Also Mandelson is no doubt doing all he can to queer Brown's pitch in Brussels.

The Conservative current EPP dilemma links in to this mess, as it was Barroso's alleged corrupt behaviour which Roger Helmer spoke up about in the EuroParliament (www.rogerhelemr.com). If Roger Helmer is reinstated, that would be embarrassing for Barroso. And if the Conservative delegation leaves the EPP, and starts to speak up regularly about EU corruption, Barroso will not feel too safe.

Prescott is a key EU-loyalist in the UK, pushing through the regionalisation programme, and rigging the postal vote system (See rightlinks - http://rightlinks.co.uk/linked/modules/wiwimod/index.php?page=Postal+Voting). The EU won't want him spewing out the truth about how New labour runs. He is not going to cast out.

If Cameron keeps his copybook unblotted, the Conservative lead could grow. Prescott not being fired is worth far more to us than having him fired. He's Conservative gold dust.

"Another danger for Labour if Prescott goes is that he'll write a "warts 'n' all" book about his time as Deputy PM."

No danger at all; if he writes English in the way he speaks it then no-one will understand a single sentence.

Ed. Why oh why do you give credence to BPIX polls. They are widely discredited within the professional body - the British Polling Council, whom they refuse to join, probably because of the stringent rules that the BPC enforce. As I mentioned the other day BPIX refuse to reveal datasets and other essential information for scrutiny.

The Daily Mail continue to use BPIX because they are cheap, but as we know you get what you pay for in polling and effective polling isn't inexpensive.

BTW I'm happy for my own polling organization, Anonymous Random Selection of Electors, to provide you with its latest numbers :

Con 84% .. Lab 4% .. Lib Dem 2% .. UKIP 10% .. SNP 0%.

Sample 1,456. Glasgow Central Constituency.

But then again you wouldn't want to make an arse of yourself, would you ?

I'll do some digging on BPIX, Jack W and come back to you. A few other issues were raised by Friday's MORI thread, too, and I'll report back on those, too, asap.

I suppose one must agree with the above posters - that Prescott is more use to us in rather than out of office, but it is quite offensive that we should have to see him almost each day, smirking and swaggering around because he knows (or thinks he knows) that he is 'untouchable'.

I think that Prescott embodies all the worst attributes of trade unionism, I won't make a list because it would be too long and you can see lists in the papers each day. But I would have thought that even the trade union organisation would have thought (by now) that he doesn't do the 'image' of their movement any good either!

"In the book Information Efficiency in Financial and Betting Markets, Professor Leighton Vaughan Williams of the Betting Research Unit at the University of Nottingham, and others, examine the existence and extent of information efficiency in financial and betting markets. One of the more interesting chapters in the book covers the subject of the predictive ability of betting markets in general elections.

It has long been the contention of Vaughan Williams that betting markets are a more accurate and cheaper predictive tool when it comes to elections compared with traditional methodologies, for example, econometric models or opinion polls."

Whilst the betting market does currently predict that the Tories will win the most seats at the next General Election, it would seem that we are heading for no overall majority, with the DUP holding the balance of power...perish the thought!


Andre. A Conservative/DUP Coalition !!!!! .... I take it with the Rev Ian Paisley as Home Secretary ??


BTW On the betting front if your not already aware of the site - http://www.politicalbetting.com ... try it out.

Some outrageous thoughts about Northern Ireland- it is certainly part of the UK and the Conservatives should be there in force. There is a great deal of talent there and the Conservatives could be a unifying force. Ian Paisley is an upfront, honest politician with loads of principle...and David Trimble is a good calming leader...and the DUP and UUP are Tory in outlook. I really think that the 3 parties should unite under the Tory Party- nothing could be more Unionist than that. First benefit will be that Sinn Fein will lose all their seats except the one in Belfast. Do the Tories want the hassle of Northern Ireland?- YES- we intend to run the country and Northern Ireland is certainly a part of it. The Tories are good in crisis situations too.

eugene. Funny post eugene, well done.

The Conservatives in NI are damaged goods, outside of the Down area. Should the DUP and UUP be mad enough to accept the primacy of the Conservative umbrella then the likely result would be an outbreak of hysterical laughter amongst the electorate combined with a sharp fall in the vote.

I see no realistic possibility of Sinn Fein losing any of their seats either in the present climate and especially so in the hyperthetical Conservative intervention. However it's possible that that there might be the odd by-election in a Sinn Fein seat as they die of laughter at the prospect.

Where did this Deputy Prime Minister stuff come from ? It is not an offical position but a fiction and if the PM is supposed to be primus inter pares how can we have a Deputy PM ? It makes a nonsense of Cabinet Govt

David Trimble is a good calming leader
David Trimble was tricked by leaders of the Conservative and Labour parties who essentially sold out to Sinn Fein\IRA, you are also not up to date with things - David Trimble stood down as leader of the UUP when he lost his seat in the 2005 General Election and Reg Prentice (a leading Ulster Unionist councillor) was elected leader.

Reg Prentice
Freudian slip - I mean't Reg Empey who is also an Assemblyman in the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Both Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State are positions entirely at the discretion of the Prime Minister, just as much as the position Paymaster-General or Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster - Clement Attlee, Barbara Castle, Willie Whitelaw and Michael Hestletine are examples of people who have held such positions with a fair degree of power as well - Rab Butler really was more Harold Macmillan's doormat than anything else, in some cases there is an element of vanity about it.

In truth the Prime Minister can run the country from anwhere and if anything Gordon Brown is the actual deputy in all but name although John Prescott was never more than a glorified cabinet minister but with finer titles and more perks.

Thanks Yet Another Anon- I know Trible is not leader of the UUP anymore...that does not stop one from displaying leadership and therefore being a calming leader...however, I did not express myself clearly.

" Conservative/DUP Coalition !!!!! .... I take it with the Rev Ian Paisley as Home Secretary "

I would be surprised if Ian Paisley stands again. He will be 83 in 2009.

That weould be a very modernising move to get in bed with the DUP. What next a coalition with the BNP! We are suppose to becoming more moderate and moving to the centre ground not getting in bed with people who are still fighting two hundred year old battles and who still seem to regard catholics as the scum of the earth.

Clement Attlee, was however the leader of another party in a Coalition Government and Churchill was not at that time leader of the Conservatives, Chamberlain was. That is very different from the same party.

Jack Stone you get more and more bizarre. The DUP is the party representing the majority population of Northern Ireland, it has a much better standing in Northern Ireland than the Conservative Party in England. Go ahead and form a coalition with the BNP if you want but do not try to make silly stupid comments about the DUP in Northern Ireland................it is clear that you are more kindly disposed to Sinn Fein/IRA than to the majority of Northern Ireland voters................but it is clear that you are a LibDem in most respects.

TomTom, I agree Jack is going a bit OTT in his post, but what he's trying to say is very true. DUP may represent the majority of NI, but any coalition with them as a main party would make us look like we were completely against any idea of devolution. You can't be a good moderator in an argument whilst being dependent upon one of the parties involved. Whenever we took a unionist stance Sinn fein would accuse us of only doing it due to us needing DUP votes, no matter the reality.

"The DUP is the party representing the majority population of Northern Ireland"

Majority? They got 33% of the vote. Sound a familiar number? :p ;)

They got 33% of the vote.

Between 1922 and 1929 the Government of Northern Ireland was elected by PR using STV - 1929-1973 it ran on First Past The Post as for Westminster Elections.

1973-2006 every type of assembly in Northern Ireland has used PR variants whether STV or d'Hondt.

2005 election DUP 33.7% to be largest single party of the 4 gaining seats at Westminster - DUP + UUP = 51.5%

It is still the largest party in Northern Ireland - if the Conservativbes could gain the largest number of seats in the United KIngdom they could even form a Government, but since John Major they have been unable to do so

Of 18 Westminster seats representing Northern Ireland the DUP holds 9 and the UUP 1.

Expressed similarly the Conservatives would hold 324 seats and thus have an overall majority -= they only fell 126 seats short of this suggesting that if they had carried all the seats in Yorkshire and Scotland plus a few on Tyneside they could have won the last election.

Simon Preston's article in the Sunday Times is the definitive article on Prescott, and should be read by everybody, it is entitled - 'Prescott must quit for the one thing he didn't do - his job.' !!!!

The BPIX website has been " under construction " since last year . As they are also not a member of the British Polling Council and there is no information on their methodology it does not give you much confidence in their figures . Let us wait and see what Populus give in their next survey .

Tom Tom writes of the DUP "It is still the largest party in Northern Ireland".

This may be true, but doesn't really prove that much - if the SDLP continue haemorraging support within the Nationalist community, Sinn Fein may well end up with the largest number of votes of any party at the next general election.

I would be surprised if Ian Paisley stands again. He will be 83 in 2009.
Gladstone was 86 when he formed his last government.

There are no signs of Ian Paisley standing down although he is delegating more than he used to, in the early days he was on his own, now he leads the largest party in Ulster and is in a good position to strengthen the DUP vote and not only perhaps grab the UUP's last parliamentary seat but by uniting the Unionist vote in other seats there could be a situation in which there are a few Sinn Fein MP's who don't take up their seats and again 15 or so rocksolid Unionist MP's sitting in parliament, in addition Ian Paisley Snr hopes to be First Minister before standing down as leader, probably the coming parliament will be his last as leader though but he could remain an MP or go on to be Lord Paisley and be the party's leader in the Lords so he could well be around for a number of years although not so prominently.

The oldest MP at the moment is actually Piara Khabra, Labour MP for Ealing South born on 20 November 1924 who is holding on doggedly to the Labour candidacy for the seat despite New Labour having deciding he is too old and trying to induce or pressure him to stand aside for a younger candidate.

Peter Robinson, Jeffrey Donaldson, Nigel Dodds, Willie McCrae and Ian Paisley Jnr are all possible successors to Ian Paisley Snr as leader.

"Peter Robinson, Jeffrey Donaldson, Nigel Dodds, Willie McCrae and Ian Paisley Jnr are all possible successors to Ian Paisley Snr as leader"

What a shower! For goodness sake lets give the people of NI the same choice as the rest of us- Labour/Tory/LibDem.

What a shower! For goodness sake lets give the people of NI the same choice as the rest of us- Labour/Tory/LibDem.
The Conservative Party puts up candidates but except for the odd council seat they never get anywhere, the Ulster Unionist Party used to be affiliated to the Conservative Party but since 1974 have been as likely to back Labour as the Conservatives, the Conservative Party is not recognised as a Unionist Party.

Labour have links with the SDLP who usually vote with them, the United Kingdom Unionist Party lead by Robert McCartney was also founded by Labour Unionists, it may well be that if the SDLP continues to decline that Labour will put up candidates although it remains their party policy not to put up candidates.

As for the Liberal Democrats, the Alliance Party in Ulster to which they have close links is much the same party and any Alliance MP's elected would sit with the Liberal Democrats.

That's just the way things are.

What a shower! For goodness sake lets give the people of NI the same choice as the rest of us- Labour/Tory/LibDem.

Wrong way around - the shower is Labour/Tory/LibDem - a complete and utter travesty for voters. If only Plaid Cymru, SNP and DUP would stand in England and give us a real choice away from the Stracciatella Coalition that the three corporatist parties represent with their loans for favours scams

Without the religious bigots of the DUP Northern Ireland would have its own devolved assembley and be a far more tolerant and intergrated society than it is today.
We should be oppossing extremism not playing up to it!

UKIP have links with the Northern Ireland Unionist Party that broke away from the United Kingdom Unionist Party, the Ulster Unionist Party has fielded candidates in Council Elections in the West of Scotland and even considered fighting some Scottish parliamentary seats at times; if the DUP was to field candidates in the UK the logical starting points would be in the North and West of Scotland and in parts of Wales.

Without the religious bigots of the DUP Northern Ireland would have its own devolved assembley and be a far more tolerant and intergrated society than it is today
In a situation in which IRA\Sinn Fein has bombed it's way into negociations and in an Assembly in which compositions of the Executive are fixed regardless of the elections results - they should have the same type of parliament with the same powers and party's being left to form coalitions on their own as happens in Scotland and at Westminster, also the ridiculous insistence that all parties in the Assembly have to categorise themselves as Unionist or Nationalist should be ended - indeed there is no reason why a party shouldn't include both in it and people who are neutral on the issue and this kind of registration is more likely to ingrain, formalise and perpetuate such divisions than anything else - the use of proportional systems means that even the DUP is unlikely to actually win an overall majority anyway and in the old Northern Ireland Parliament the SDLP had been part of the executive with the UUP quite freely.

Certainly there are aspects of DUP Economic policies that make it unlikely that the Conservative Party would want to be formally linked to them, but the Ulster Unionist Party has been moving towards a more pro Free Market and less redistributive position so maybe the Conservative Party could look to re-affiliate them and take a line regarding the status of Ulster in line with that of the UUP - they might only have one MP in Ulster and only about a quarter support but that's one more MP than the Conservatives have there and a lot more support than the Conservative Party standing as the Conservative Party there has ever achieved there.

I'm not trying to be funny here, but do any of you people actually think that the Lib Dems will end up with only 9 seats after the next election? If this is the sort of stupidly optimistic electoral maths you are pinning your hopes on, it will be a long, long time before you get into power again.

For those who thrive on opinion polls I gather the latest Populus Poll has just come out and is mentioned on UK Polling Report and shows the Conservatives on 36%, Labour on 34% and Liberal Democrats on 19%.

I still expect both Labour and Conservative support to be up at the next General Election although probably the Liberal Democrats holding many of their seats due to tactical voting, I still expect a Labour victory probably with a similar majority to that of 2005 and for the Conservative Party to gain some seats from Labour but both parties to pick up seats from the Liberal Democrats so probably the Conservative Party on about 235 seats or so, I think around 25-30 seats for the Liberal Democrats.

Perhaps if we had a real leader instead of Cameron we might get a bigger share of the vote, never mind, he can hug his hoodies with his chum Maude. We will get used to being in opposition just like Labour did!!!

Cameron and his lot continue to disabuse our trust and Money. We need an EU exit policy, a Defence policy, and an industry base. We need not a "Great Fire of London" but a "Great Fire of Whitehall". We sart by disenfranchising all public servants, that way Turkeys need not vote for Xmas.

The comments to this entry are closed.



ConHome on Twitter

    follow me on Twitter

    Conservative blogs

    Today's public spending saving

    New on other blogs

    • Receive our daily email
      Enter your details below:

    • Tracker 2
    • Extreme Tracker