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10 and a half years into a Labour government, with a supposedly fresh and exciting leader and possibly only a few weeks away from a general election and we are 7% behind in the polls. This is hardly a cause of celebration is it?

Two opinion polls tomorrow will show the Labour lead down to 7%. Not brilliant but much better.

Maybe we're seeing a new phenomenon: the 'pre-conference bump'!

Onwards and upwards.

The MORI poll shows a 1 point reduction from before 8 - 7 %.

If there is another poll with a 7% lead it will be either ICM (Previously 6%) or CR (Previously 3%). So both increases in Labour lead in those polls.

If it's BIPEX in the MoS we shouldn't waste our time discussing it.

please, please, please, all those dissenting tories keep quiet for at least one week!

yes, useful idiots, why don't you just shut up.It's because of you that we have this problem of the present polls to begin with

I am pleased so far with the policy annoucements, certainly the tax credit announcement and the stamp duty for first time buyers are both winners. I am sure Labour will do the totally predictable how are you going to pay (in fact ed Balls has very weirdly asked what cuts will need to be made to make up for the airplane tax - this was the chief secretary of the treasury who can't tell the difference between public expenditure and taxation), but frankly when Brown has said he is going to cure aids and educate all the children of the world up to private schooling standard it just seems a tiny bit hypocritical. Nevertheless the easy answer is to constantly say scrap ID cards that will reclaim £20bn.

That sounds like a policy the Harrow West constituents will definately like. Good stuff.

This will take nine out of ten first-time buyers out of Stamp Duty

Yes but I would imagine that the present £125000 threshold (£150,000 in 'Disadvantaged Areas') takes most out anyway. You need to tell us what %age of first-time buyers do not pay SDLT at present in order to make sense of this proposal.

I would personally have a strong objection to SDLT rising from 0% to 3% at £250,000. That threshold already causes a limited but severe distortion in the housing market, and the change that is apparently suggested would make that particular situation a good deal worse.

Guff. The polls show what they show because DC is a useless fraud.

I like the policy to abolish stamp duty for first-time buyers - getting on the property ladder is a big problem for many people where I live.

The polls are poor, let's get some sellable policies this week and move forward.

For me Gummer/Goldsmith have done us far more damage than Bercow/Mercer. My time on the doorstep is spent persuading people that it is not our policy to charge people to park at supermarkets etc.

Hear, Hear, Con 1 and Sheepdip.
Now is the time to stick together and take the attack to Brown.
These polls are not great but they are an improvement on this morning's two and the polling data over the last four months has been so volatile that the Labour lead can't be set in stone.
We've gone from clear leaders pre-Brown, to significantly behind after his first couple of months, to neck and neck three or four weeks ago, to 11 points behind and, now, seven points behind.
If we get a steady stream of popular, eye-catching policies this week, a charismatic and substantial set-piece from Cameron (which I'm confident of) and, most of all, everyone singing from the same hymn sheet, there's no reason why a good proportion of these volatile swing voters won't edge back to us and all but destroy Brown's advantage.
The other thing we've got to do is nail Brown's presentational con-trick of painting himself as some sort of Tory in disguise. He's not, never has been and never will be and Worcester Woman etc must be left in no doubt about this - whether by Cameron or, perhaps, someone like Chris Grayling.
I really believe the volatility factor means everything is still up for grabs if Brown does have the balls to go for it. None of us no if he will, but I don't think it's a certainty yet, because I reckon Brown is wary of how soft his advantage really is.
Anyway, go for it Dave. You can do it.

Thank you to Jack W for having the honesty to write under your own moniker (Jack is a Lib Dem, by the way).

yes, useful idiots, why don't you just shut up.It's because of you that we have this problem of the present polls to begin with

Are you all right?

It would be very flattering to my ego to suppose that the electorate spends its time reading my Cameronsceptic posts on CH and acting accordingly.

It would also be utter nonsense.

Do us all a favour and blame the real culprits - the empty suits who have hi-jacked the party and run it into the ground.

"The scale of David Cameron's crisis revealed as poll shows the Tory leader trailing badly on nearly every indicator of public opinion."

Tonight's Observer story

Wow only 7 points behind! We should be furious with this. Anyone who takes comfort in being 7 points behind is not serious about winning or abour politics for that matter.

It's a disgrace we are in this position.

Bazza - I wholeheartedly agree, great post.

"Disturbingly expensive". I think I'm going to enjoy this week.

Jack W may be a LibDem, but what he said is right. In one of those polls Labour has actually increased its lead, so it's not something to celebrate.

Jack W won't be pleased at being called a Lib Dem....

SDLT - well intentioned but a blunt way of dealing with it. (The answer is to stagger it, of course. Anything else makes the marginal rates too high.)

I'm starting to think this "phoney" war of Gordon Brown's non existent election is designed to drag some quickly conceived policies out of us. (Not our fault; DC was correctly aiming at producing them closer to a 2008/09 election....)

GB has had 10 years to plan how to run his Govt after all....

Judging by the reaction of a certain 'fringe' on this thread, it would seem some people would have rather tomorrow's polls showed us further behind!

If I wanted anti-Tory bullshit I'd have checked out LabourHome.

There's too many people spending too much time banging the same drum about some kind of 'conspiracy'.

The demographic of the party is of the 'elder' end of the spectrum, but I hadn't realised such paranoid senility was so prevailant! Then when something comes out that is more in the 'traditional' area - the party will promise to abolish stamp duty for first-time buyers on homes worth up to £250,000 - it goes ignored.

CommonSense/Michael D.

I always post under my own name and am not a Lib Dem. I'm unable to support a party with neo-socialist economic policies.



Seeing Brown has hogged all the media coverage in recent weeks in the guise of Superman, it is not surprising how he is perceived by the public. Just think all those problems and crisis he is solving! We seem to forget that he is responsible for them in the first instance.

How Joe Public is falling for this tripe is really unbelievable- let us hope some of the Brown Myths are exploded this week.

As I suspected, already the BBC are allowing the Brown spin merchants to reply to Conservative iniatives- did they allow the Conservatives the same rights last week? I don't think so. At least tonight's reposte was a load of Balls.

Just 7 points, after labour being in charge for 10 yrs???

the party will promise to abolish stamp duty for first-time buyers on homes worth up to £250,000 - it goes ignored

Well I've just referred to it.

As has been pointed our by another contributor, the main priority with SDLT should be to introduce a graduated scale in place of the present bludgeon.

And is it seriously suggested that only 'first time buyers' should enjoy exemption under £250,000? I can see that raising 1001 headaches, but possibly the expressed intention is to help first time buyers rather than actually restrict relief to this category.

Whatever, all prudence is now being thrown over in favour of made-on-the-hoof populist gimmicks. It is yet another recipe for disaster.

Just 7 points, after labour being in charge for 10 yrs???

When John Major became PM, after 10 years of Conservative government, Labour were 17% behind.


It's called consistency. Will you delete people whose posts continually defend Cameron? How about people who continually call others of being trolls? How about those who always blame the right? Or how about those who bang on about needing to stay in the 'centre'?

My point was very valid Mr Editor and i'm shocked you resorted to deleting it. I was even talking about an issue which is close to Cameron's heart, the environment, namely how he is trailing Brown in terms of who voters think is best to deal with the environment despite the amount of time he's banged on about it. Deal with it - its in the recent poll.

Will ConHome be reporting the two new polls or would that be the wrong thing to do during our conference?

The stamp duty level was rised to £125K in the 2006 budget. There was no further increase in 2007 (to some surprise as I recall). Have I got it right so far?

If (the biggest "if" in town") there's going to be a General Election, there will be a Chancellor's statement before dissolution.

No bets on a stamp duty hint then.

Or on estate duty.

So there went those two thunderous broadsides.

I don't believe any opinion polls.

They are all in the pay of the media which needs to create drama, so we all keep listening.

It's a trade-off, with Brown egging on the polls by endless hints of an election, and them in turn boosting him up trying to get him to call one. They're both deluding each other.

If Brown does call an election, it will be the first one caused almost totally by opinion polls. Hopefully he'll lose it, and the opinion poll nonsense will be finished forever.

Brown has a working majority for at least two more years. There is no need to call an election, for any reason other than Brown's ego. If it comes, it will be the first election on record where opinion polls have actually brought it on. It will probably be a fiasco for Brown as a result, and deservedly so.

We should welcome the stamp duty proposals without qualification.It is encouraging to see the leader in such bullish mood.I have always had reservations about the "modernisation" agenda but now is the time for unity and policy clarity.This conference needs to speak as one above all else and I do sense that DC recognises this.The wider party should do so also.

There is still all to play for.The fundamentals are unaltered and any PM thinking of an election barely 10 weeks after coming to power must be deeply troubled by something.We need to expose that this week.It is critical that we leave Blackpool with a tory alternative vision fixed in peoples minds.This will contrast well with Brown's rehased nonsense and show up his claim to have no responsibility for the past 10 years.

I suspect also that the more people see Cameron the more they will like and empathise with him.I doubt the same can be said of Brown.This will turn the negative Poll ratings for the leader.

Tony Blair said "We are best when we are boldest". Brown said "We are best when we are Labour". I say "We are best when we are conservative". Let's give it a try.

We should welcome the stamp duty proposals without qualification

No we shouldn't, for the reasons I've given above.

Anyway, would I be right in assuming that this will only happen when (Osborne's mantra) it can be funded by the proceeds of growth?

If not, we shall need to know how it is to be paid for. Unlike reductions in income and corporation tax there can be no argument that the cut itself will fuel growth.

In the end it's more likely to fuel house price inflation.

Good. Id prefer it to be abolished completely on all primary residences (taxing people who need a bigger house for a growing family, or who need to move to where work is afterall, a pretty nasty and despicable tax), but its a step in the right direction.

IIRC correctly, FTBs technically include people who have been out of the housing market for a short time. Ie not buying and selling simultaneously, so this could benefit a lot of people, not just 20 somethings leaving home/university.

Free up more land for building proper family homes with decent parking and private gardens and along with this maybe housing can be available to normal people once again.

If only we could shut up about bloody inheritance tax and focus on taxes that hit average people like this we might start gaining decent numbers of votes.

Populist pronouncements don't seem to be harming Gordon Brown,if we believe the polls.I am sure George Osborne will be outlining the stamp duty plan in a costed framework during conference.My own view would be that this is small beer and room for maneouvre on this scale could inevitably be found within the totality of existing budgets.

In terms of the politics it is important that the party does not neglect personal taxation in favour of business tax reduction.I am well aware of the structural problems hampering competiveness but we can only address these if we win.That depends to some degree on being popular.Stamp duty reduction will be pouplar so why not support it?

If only we could shut up about bloody inheritance tax and focus on taxes that hit average people like this we might start gaining decent numbers of votes.

I agree, but what is proposed needs a lot more thought.

What about a divorced woman with young children who is trying to get back on her feet and buy a modest home? Should she be penalised because she is not a first-time buyer?

A wealthy man and his partner buy a house. He puts it in her name, claims relief and lets it out. Abuse of the system?

Is this a serious policy or a headline-grabbing ploy?

Whilst abolishing stamp duty for properties under £250,000 is a start, it will have little effect to no effect in London and South-East marginals where the average property now exceeds that figure. Raising the threshold to £400,000 would be much more effective.

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