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Was this taken before all the MEP stuff?

Jennifer, I suspect it was before, and I also suspect that whatever happens in the next few days we will take a hit of some kind. That said, the first poll conducted entirely after Conway put us up 3 points from the previous one.

4th and 5th June, Jennifer. Wednesday + Thursday.

Its also the Conservatives biggest lead ever in an ICM Poll (since 1988 when I think ICM started?).

Jennifer, it does not matter whether the research was before the MEP stuff or not. In the real world inhabited by voters the fact that a couple of Tory MEPs nobody has heard of have fiddled their expenses is of no consequence in comparison with petrol prices, food prices, tax hikes, mortgage rates, knife crime, full prisons, lousy schools etc etc etc. Not a single vote will be swayed by MEPs expenses (not in Leeds at any rate). The extent of Labour's failure and deception is now so widespread and so deeply understood that expense scandal is simply unimportant. Conwaygate was potentially much more important than MEPgate and look what happened!

I think the price of petrol will be on voters minds more than dodgy MEP expenses.

Times reporting Atkins has questions to answer now. Funny how it's the MEP's who defend the project to the hilt who are being caught out.

Another great poll though. How low can Labour go?

"By 65% to 30% voters back the plan for 42 days of pre-charge detention."

Shocking. Hopefully this won't persuade the party to change its stance on the matter.

Mr Cameron, have you welshed on our referendum? Are you about to give our Army to Europe or our Air Force?

I think Caroline Spellman should be made an example of and her husband should not stand for MEP. I know her offence is not great unlike the office of Party Chairman.

AIUI, the Caroline Spelman thing sounds worse than it is. She did this when she first became an MP in 1997 and was advised to stop in 1998 which she did. Labour would look very foolish if they tried to make a fuss over it.

A misunderstanding that was cleared up and not repeated from over 10 years ago? Not much of a scandal....

What a good finish to the day. Another terrible poll for Labour and the BBC covering itself with dishonour and embarrasment. Nice!

Malcolm: Not just a bad day for Labour and Crick but the nasty Guido too. Lots to celebrate. for once you & I can agree!!!!

The write up of the poll is now on the Telegraph's website.

Guido swallowed the pill on Crick's Spelman 'investigation' which is as accurate as Betsygate was. Crick 's investigations are politically motivated and targeted. This one was launched to take the heat off the MEPs.

I wonder if the news that the House of Commons has shredded all expense claims up to 2004 will hit all the parties.

I think we have to face the facts that the majority of our elected representatives are irredeemably corrupt. I'm not sure my stomach is strong enough to vote for any of them.

This is great news. But one doesn't have to be Francis Maude to feel that the pendulum may have swung almost as far the Conservative way as it's going to in the current cycle. There's two years to go - Gordon is certain to hang on and to use all the levers that an incumbent government can pull in the meantime. A political scorched earth policy with a consequent effect on the electorate. Yes - a Conservative majority in 2010 is almost certain, but it could be 30-40 rather than the 100s some are joyously anticipating.

Meanwhile the room is beginning to fill with elephants whom we are studiously, and perhaps wisely, trying to ignore on the basis that the electorate isn't interested in matters elephantine.

In no particular order, some of the largest are -

The EU and the probablility that whatever happens in Ireland the provisions of the Lisbon Treaty - on justice, internal security, defence, diplomacy and the other competences of an independent democracy will all be put into effect;

Food security and the capacity of the UK's agricultural sector;

Defence, and the frightening state of Armed Forces manning, recruitment and morale;

Higher education and the continuing failure of a system over-provided with institutions many of which produce neither engineers, designers, biochemists - nor classicists, historians, theologians and others able to stand back and look at the foundations both of politics and civil society.

A bit of elephant-discussing s needed..

Great poll. I don't think some nameless MEPs will have any major effect on our standing, and I think the Spelman non-story will be seen as just that.

Re: Guido, I don't think we should be lectured on morals from a man wearing an electronic tag...

Blair Bling followed by Brown Substance.

Alan Douglas

"Re: Guido, I don't think we should be lectured on morals from a man wearing an electronic tag..."


Do tell.

About the Spellman thing - I hope no one has missed the point that this is happening day-by-day, bit-by-bit. First Giles Chichester, then Den Dover and now Caroline Spellman.

Clearly not a coincidence! I wonder who's behind all this. Who will be 'exposed' tomorrow and will this carry on after the Henley by-election is over?

Its also worth noting that these are over relatively trivial matters, unlike a certain prominent Scots Labour lady as good as admitting a criminal offence on TV and then not being prosecuted for it!!

I perceive the hand of malice behind all this.

Andrew Landriani I think you are right - the timing is to put it mildly a bit of a coincidence.
That's why it is a very good thing that the MEPs accounts will all be looked at during the coming week and then hopefully the story can be laid to rest once and for all.

I still think the biggest single factor in Brown's demise was that he bottled out of a general election. It has left many people feeling that his government is not legitimate.
Add to that his very poor performance's at question time. The Labour party's answer has been to come up with a large number of pushy and intrusive policy's. In reality Brown is treating his natural supporters very badly. The 10% Tax rate change being just the most obvious attack on the poorest in our society.
Its quite amusing to see the now headless chicken of labour running around in a frenzy of pointless activity. Like the chicken the party is already dead and it is now only a matter of time before the New labour Bird finally hits the dust. The one person who might have been able to rescue the brand has burnt his bridges by becoming a convert to the RC.

Hardcore Conservative: http://www.bloggerheads.com/archives/2008/05/paul_staines_th.asp

On 42 Days:

Q: Should the police be able to hold terror suspects for 42 days?
A: Yes


Q: Should the police be able to hold you or members of your family for 42 days without charge, if they think you are a terrorist?
A: No

We should go on the attack against the something must be done authoritarians.

Alex Fisher @ 1352.

Thanks very much.

It's Europe ,stupid !!
Not that i am saying that anyone might or might not have fiddled their expenses. But since europe and its parliament is so unpopular anyway, even if someone might not have been entirely accurate in their Expenses claim form , who cares,. It's not that europe have not been possibly fleecing us all these years.

Yes, Serf at 14.28. There are two aspects of this issue, the length of the period of dentention and the question of charging or not charging the suspect.

In a way, the 42 day/28 day/14 day issue is the minor consideration. It might be necessary to hold someone in custody quite a while to unearth all the evidence (as in fraud trials) but that is not the central point, which Serf demonstrates by personalising the issue.

If YOU were arrested on suspicion of terrorism, you would quickly agree that anybody - even Osama bin Laden - should have the right under British law to know what the charge against him/her is and to have legal representation.

Before arresting someone, the police have to justify that arrest to the CPP, in which case, what is the problem about formulating a charge within 28 days as at present?

Indeed, why do they need even that long?

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