UK News

Insights from the UK and beyond

Brown’s see-saw poll recovery

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A ComRes/Independent poll this week says Gordon Brown has staged a stunning political recovery and that the Labour party is now just one point behind David Cameron and the Conservatives.

Yet only four days ago an ICM/Guardian survey said Conservative popularity had returned to its summer peak with 45 percent of voter support and a lead of 15 points.

Mike Smithson at Politicalbetting has published tables to show that ICM’s polls have been more consistent over the past year, with Comres swinging from giving the Tories a massive 22 point lead in July to its latest wafer-thin difference.

But it is not only these two polling companies who are producing contrasting results. In recent days we have also had a similar split between an 11-point Tory lead from Ipsos-Mori in the Observer and a mere 4 point Conservative advantage from YouGov in the Telegraph.

A profound shift in party politics

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David Cameron’s decision to ditch a major Conservative pledge to match Labour spending plans pound for pound was hailed by commentators as an important step in the politics of the recession, opening up a clear gulf between the two main parties’ economic policies but exposing the Tories to considerable risk.

Labour is expected to cut taxes, accelerate public spending and announce more borrowing in Monday’s pre-budget report. Now their supporters can revive the spectre of “Tory cuts” to funding for schools and hospitals which helped the Conservatives lose the last two elections.

Boosting the economy: lower taxes, higher spending or both?

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Prime Minister Gordon Brown has suggested he will push expansionary fiscal policies to help boost the economy. Brown’s comments were the latest in a series from him and Chancellor Alistair Darling stressing the importance of boosting the economy, which shrank in the third quarter of 2008 for the first time in 16 years and is expected to contract more sharply next year.

Bank of England Governor Mervyn King has also put his weight behind “some fiscal stimulus”, just as the Bank predicted in its quarterly inflation report that the economy would shrink sharply next year.

How long is a Mandelson?

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mandelson5.jpgPeter Mandelson has told the Observer that he and Prime Minister Gordon Brown have put their differences behind them and the pair are now “joined at the hip”.

But that didn’t stop Conservative leader David Cameron enjoying a joke at Mandelson’s expense on BBC TV’s Politics Show.

Tories form an orderly queue for Dave

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cameron2.jpgStockport councillor Linda Holt started the queue for David Cameron’s closing speech at 10 a.m. this morning — four and a half hours before the Conservative leader was due to walk onto the stage at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall.

With 10,000 registered attendees — the highest at a Tory conference for many years — and only 3,000 seats, an early start was essential for those wanting to be in the arena to hear Cameron’s hour-long address.

Does Glasgow spell the end of Gordon Brown?

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gordon.jpgGordon Brown has woken to some unhappy headlines during his year as prime minister but the verdicts on newspaper websites following Labour’s shock defeat in the Glasgow East by-election were probably the worst he has faced.

“Disaster” was the description of the Daily Mail and The Independent after one of Labour’s safest seats fell to the Scottish National Party. The Daily Telegraph called it “Humiliation for Brown” while “Catastrophe for Labour” was The Guardian’s verdict.

Glasgow dire for Labour – but not Crewe

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glasgowcampaign.jpgGlasgow East has a very different feel to Crewe as it gears up for Thursday’s by-election.

In Crewe and Nantwich voters were palpably enthused by the prospect of giving Gordon Brown and Labour a good kicking. They were aware of the national significance of a Tory victory and relished the chance to send Brown a stern message. Turnout was a high 58 percent and the Conservatives achieved a massive 17.6 percent swing to win the seat in May.

Was the Davis by-election a gimmick?

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                  **** For full coverage of British politics click here **** 

daviddavis.jpgTo nobody’s great surprise, David Davis swept home at the “liberties” by-election in his Yorkshire seat that he himself had engineered by resigning.

Johnson overtakes Cameron

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For the first time since he became mayor of London on May 2, Boris Johnson has overtaken Conservative leader David Cameron in “favourability”, according to an opinion tracker published on www.politicshome.com.

Johnson scored a rating of 3, up from -7 at the end of April, while Cameron got rated 1, up from -5.

At a glance – election results

**Full coverage of the London mayor and local elections **

The election results for England and Wales at 8:00 p.m. with all 159 councils having officially declared.


Councillors   Councils   Party Won/lost Total Won/Lost Total Conservative +256 3154 +12 65 Labour -331 2368 -9 18 LibDem +34 1805 1 12 Plaid Cymru +33 207 -1 0 Other 5 893 0 0 NOC - - -3 64 Councils declared out of 159 total     159  

Source: BBC

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