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Bet by ten o`clock we will have the usual crowd posting that these figures are a diaster and that Labour are heading for another victory.

These figures are a disaster and Labour are heading for another victory!!

We should be on 65% by now - another failure of The Boy Cameron! What the party needs to do is cut taxation to zero and burn as much fossil fuel as possible, and build airports everywhere, and really just do whatever the CBI wants. And run a poster campaign about how horrible lots of minority groups are -- that would work. It just wasn't given the chance before.

[..continues...]

I for one won't be voting Conservative until John Redwood is Chancellor and Bill Cash is foreign secretary and someone lively in a blazor, with impossibly large teeth, is in charge of all PR, and it doesn't matter anyway because we're all controlled by Europe, whose thoughcontrol mindmelds are beamed into me direct from Mars, unless I wear this speshul foil headpiece.

[...continues...]

I'm someone really Important In The City though I can't reveal my name, but I started 15 banks or so, and built the rail network up from scratch, and I'm just taking time out of my busy schedule running the planet to tell you that Cameron's ideas are laughably non-Conservative, and no-one in my ward thinks that they'll amount to anything, especially not with that loser Johnson only 14 points ahead in the Mayoral poll, it's obvious that they'll just win by being NuLabourLite, and unless they make the FSA in charge of everything, with me as its boss, it's obviously just a load of rubbish. Brown/Livingstone/Spart will eat the Boy Gids for breakfast, let me tell you.

Yup, you're right Brendan, a 'proper' Conservative party would be 100% ahead (at least).Utter disaster.

If George Osborne gets to occupy number 11 Downing Street after the next election he must know that he's likely to be inheriting a crisis. To prepare for this he ought to be doing 3 things now :-

1 State that the current measurement of inflation is clearly 'unfit for purpose' and come up with a more realistic measure.

2 Ringfence essential public spending and begin taking a hypothetical broadsword to the rest

3 Plan on tax cuts starting with the lowest paid

Items 2 and 3 can be kept under wraps until needed but item 1 would show that the Tories at least know what it's like out there in the country for ordinary people. It will also shoot the remaining crumbs of Labour economic competence out of the water.

"Plan on tax cuts starting with the lowest paid"

Any economist will tell you this will have no effect.

If you cut tax for the higher rate taxpayer such as myself you will encourage entrepreneurship.

Trickle down economics will take place and if the poorer work instead of living off state benfits then they too will increase their income.

Mike you sound like a Labour supporter!

This is the way to get rid of nuLieBore – make the people so shit scared of their futures under nuLieBore control that the will not vote for them. Every television interview, every PMQ’s should cite examples of people suffering and that it will happen to everyone. Encourage the media to do stories about people having their homes taken away. This is exactly how nuLieBore took power in ’97, so do it to them.

However, I still have not heard anything that would make people really want to have a Conservative government. The prospect of being put on a chain-gang certainly doesn’t make me want to vote Conservative.

The best thing to do is ignore Margaret, Mike. I fear she's a troll.

Its a disaster, Labour are up 2%. ;)

A little while back I was worried that we were making no headway despite a down hill rod and a wind at our backs. Now I am worried that we will get complacent.

The prospect of being put on a chain-gang certainly doesn’t make me want to vote Conservative.

I mus have mised that announcement

Joking aside, don't we need our share to be more than both of the others' combined, if we are to win under R or AV.

And obviously, if Brown (more Stalin than Bean as he gets more terrified) abolishes British democracy like this, then the task of keeping us productive voters from moving to Frankfurt, California, Lausanne etc. becomes impossible.

When there is a financial crisis on the markets, the goverment of the day tends to get the blame. The Opposition are well positioned to snipe from the sidelines. An economic crisis is a pre-condition for a Tory victory. I think the government has kept a level head and is dealing with economic problems not of their making with careful consideration, but the electorate are fickle and the betting has the Tories odds-on to win.

I think the Tory lead will stabilise at this level until closer to the election, when things will start to get interesting. The next real test is Ken vs Boris. If Boris wins it will be very bad news for Labour.

Oh, and there have been a couple of ignorant comments about the measurement of inflation in the last few days. We switched to CPI as the target measure in 2003; it's the internationally recognised method. ONS still publishes the RPI, and there is a personal inflation calculator here if you want to see how you are doing.
http://www.statistics.gov.uk/CCI/article.asp?ID=1707

I know it hurts that Labour has managed inflation better than recent Tory governments, but attempting to massage the figures isn't the answer.

You can be damn sure Cameron would stick to CPI if he ever got into power.

You can be damn sure Cameron would stick to CPI if he ever got into power."

Quite possibly so, as it tends to flatter the government of the day.

However, RPI is still used as the basis for uprating benefits, as well as paying interest on government bonds that are linked to inflation, and, importantly, as the basis for pay negotiations. It is probably the best measure of how individual living costs are rising.

'We switched to CPI as the target measure in 2003; it's the internationally recognised method'.

Well, with due respect, it doesn't appear to measure the actual cost of living does it?

If it doesn't reflect what people are actually experiencing in their daily lives then it's neither worth measuring or using is it?

CPI

My understanding is that it is the method favoured in the eu rather than a true "international" method.

There is simply no point in using CPI since it does not measure inflation as suffered by individuls.

The Americans use it as their headline rate of inflation, not just the EU, the banks prefer it because it doesn't fluctuate so wildly, and RPI (as well as a personal inflation calculator) is available if you want it. To use this as a stick to beat Brown is silly and pointless. Whatever measure you use, Laboour has kept inflation low and steady while in power.

passing leftie (you need a better disguise by the way), that is utter rubbish as well you know.

I appreciate that you need to keep repeating the government mantra but frankly no-one believes you any more.

passing leftie at 13.53:

"To use this as a stick to beat Brown is silly and pointless. Whatever measure you use, Laboour has kept inflation low and steady while in power.

It is perfectly legitimate to point out that Brown deliberately misrepresents the case, as he has done twice recently at PMQs, by claiming that inflation went above 10% with the tories - which it did for just three months - but claiming that he has got it down to just over 2%.

Even you must admit that to compare the RPI with the CPI is either ignorant or deliberately deceptive.

About from which globalisation helped keep the CPI down as much as the BoE's MPC.

I think you raise a very valid point Mike. One of the biggest problems we face is deep cynicism about politics in general and party politics in particular. When a headline inflation rate bears little resemblance to what many people are actually experiencing that cynicism will be reinforced.
I would hope that if we win the next election CPI is replaced with RPI or a measurement which accurately reflects reality.

Malcolm, that's why I think it would be an extremely good move for Osborne to say that the current measure is utterly useless.

It would resonate with the public and show up Labour as ridiculously out of touch with ordinary peoples' struggles.

Brown also averages out Tory figures for inflation - omitting to mention they inherited 25% from the previous Labour Government.
Thankfully it seems increasingly large numbers of people don't believe his figures. I expect we will soon be in a position when he might actually give an accurate figure for something and noone will believe him.
I believe its called being hoisted on your own petard.

What excellent good sense from Mike at 10.56.

When there is a financial crisis on the markets, the goverment of the day tends to get the blame
The recession of the early 1980s was followed by a Conservative landslide and in 1992 the Conservatives held on with the largest proportion of those eligible to vote since the 1950s.

In 1951 the Conservatives supposedly were going to win easily and in fact Labour got the largest proportion of those eligible to vote that any party had or has since got since before 1918 - the Conservatives got 0.8% less of the vote but won a majority of 16 under a very different demographic situation to now, the 1950 General Election was just as close between Conservative and Labour as the 2005 General Election, that time though there was only a Labour majority of 8.

In 1964 what had been expected to be an easy Labour win turned out to be very close both in terms of seats and votes.

In 1967 Labour had a forced devaluation and hit a record low in the 1968 Local Elections, by 1970 they had substantially recovered.

In October 1974 Labour won a narrow majority, there was record inflation, high unemployment, massive Conservative Local Election & By Election victories followed by the Winter of Discontent and yet while Labour lost, their total vote was very similar to that of the 1974 General Elections and it was more down to increased turnout for the Conservatives and collapse of the Liberals.

And the Conservative Party is still weaker than it was at those times, certainly it is on course for gains in seats in the coming Local Elections and General Election, but it is starting from a very low base - if it doubles its total number of seats that will be a small majority.

Some of that analysis from YAA is correct, but not all of it...

" if it doubles its total number of seats that will be a small majority. "


If the Tories have 420 seats at the next GE
(now 210 notionally on the new boundaries - 198 on the actual 2005 result)
- then we will have a majority of 196.

If the Tories have 420 seats at the next GE
Yes, somehow I had been using the 1997 figures, must have been distracted by something.

Margaret Hemmings, if there's one fallacy the Tories have to combat among themselves, it's that one. More tax cuts at the top are LESS likely to stimulate at the economy than at the bottom, because poorer people spend a higher share of their income on necessities and therefore have a greater propensity to spend marginal income, and a basic tax cut such as increasing the personal exemption will therefore have a far more stimulative effect.

The Tories' biggest opportunity, as so often in the past, is with inflation as many here point out. The government's headline rate of inflation is completely out of step with reality. And again for the same reason that Margaret Hemmings' tax argument is fallacious. Just as the role of basic necessities is underestimated by tax-cut advocates, it is also underestimated by the government's alleged inflation figures. Look at what's happened to the price of eggs lately and you'll see what I mean.

And when did NuLabor go to CPI? Right about when the price of basic necessities like food started to spiral upward. Convenient timing, eh?

Raising the threshold for taxation indeed helps the economy by making work more renumerative than welfare - indeed I would have thought it was something which could in future get a concensus right across the political spectrum from those prioritising reduced taxation, those who think current levels are right and the few who think more needs to be taken in tax, albeit with some different reasons being seen by different people.

I would favour extending VAT as it falls on people regardless of whether they are working or not and so does not have the disincentives that taxation on income results in, also abolition of Savings Tax to encourage people to provide for their futures - as well as reducing overall public spending, cutting taxation and putting the Budget into the black - another priority should be to switch more from direct to indirect taxation.

And when did NuLabor go to CPI? Right about when the price of basic necessities like food started to spiral upward. Convenient timing, eh?
Both RPIX and cpi have gone up, the main unemployment index highlighted switched from being the claimant count of JSA and those signing on for National Insurance Credits, and switched to the ILO figure - certainly that raised the headline figure. Both were about emphasising figures that were used for international comparison and many such as Patrick Mitford favoured the use of cpi as the main figure, indeed favoured switching indexation of benefits linked to inflation to being linked to cpi.

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