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What’s that coming over the hill?

Posted on March 14, 2014 by

Three opinion polls this week have all suggested that Labour’s opinion-poll lead over the Conservatives is continuing to shrink. ICM put Ed Miliband’s party just three points in front, as do Ipsos MORI, while Populus have a mere 1% between the two parties.

labgraph3

For perspective, the same distance out from the 2010 general election, the Tories were 16 points in front. By seven months away from the vote, in October 2009, their lead was an incredible NINETEEN points, and they still couldn’t win a majority.

Who fancies Labour’s chances?

The UK’s electoral boundaries and the giant iniquity of first-past-the-post combine to give Labour an unfair advantage. Using the BBC’s handy adjustable seat calculator, it’s possible to quite easily demonstrate how the Tories can actually win the popular vote but still see Labour secure a majority:

electoralbiasmap1

However, despite several minutes of fiddling with the sliders, that was pretty much the most extreme distortion we could come up with. As soon as you start tweaking the settings beyond that, Labour’s representation begins to crumble quickly.

Polls generally tilt in favour of the incumbent in the run-up to an election – that’s why John Major’s Tories triumphed in defiance of all expectations in 1992, and why David Cameron couldn’t win outright against a massively unpopular Gordon Brown in 2010. By three weeks before the election, that 19-point Tory lead had dropped to just 5%.

(Much of this was in fact down to a Lib Dem surge – one YouGov poll in April 2010 even put Nick Clegg’s party in front – but that evaporated when people got to the ballot boxes. In the end the Tories won by seven points, and fell just short of an overall majority but were the largest party by almost 50 seats.)

Labour are largely counting on UKIP to split the right-wing vote. According to the BBC calculator, if we give “Others” 13% to account for a strong performance by Nigel Farage’s motley crew, and assume that the Lib Dem vote only drops by a third, the Tories need to beat Labour by 5.5 points to be the biggest party.

toryminority

Those numbers equate pretty closely to the rule of thumb we’ve been using for a while, namely to posit that half of the UKIP vote, when it comes to the crunch, will decide that it’s better to offer the keys of 10 Downing Street to a David Cameron offering an EU referendum rather than an Ed Miliband rejecting one. And the figures above would add up to a continuing (albeit reduced) majority for the Tory-led coalition.

Labour-leaning pundits, perhaps with their minds focused by Miliband’s vanishing lead and dire personal ratings, are currently talking up a Lab-Lib alliance. But anyone who’s studied the detail of opinion polls over the last couple of years can’t have failed to notice a strong rightwards shift in the attitudes of the party’s remaining supporters.

Based on that, we suspect there’ll be a strong bias within the Lib Dems towards maintaining the current coalition if it’s at all possible. All the disgruntled members and voters likely to desert in disgust at their partnership with the Tories probably did so long ago. What’s left is the party’s “Orange Book” wing, very comfortable dealing with Tories and burned by their experiences of negotiating with Labour in May 2010.

But all of that is just speculation and opinion, so before we end let’s get back to the cold hard numbers. We’re now fractionally under 14 months from the election – where were we 14 months ago? Let’s take a look at some figures, all from the same polling company for comparability (YouGov, generally pretty Labour-friendly):

LABOUR LEAD OVER CONSERVATIVES

3 Jan 2013: 12%
15 Jan 2013: 15%
25 Jan 2013: 10%
10 Feb 2013: 9%
3 Mar 2013: 11%
17 Mar 2013: 12%
28 Mar 2013: 10%
14 Apr 2013: 11%
29 Apr 2013: 9%
15 May 2013: 10%
26 May 2013: 10%
9 Jun 2013: 10%
23 Jun 2013: 8%
7 July 2013: 6%
21 July 2013: 7%
13 Aug 2013: 7%
25 Aug 2013: 6%
13 Sep 2013: 4%
25 Sep 2013: 9% (party conference)
8 Oct 2013: 4%
20 Oct 2013: 6%
3 Nov 2013: 9%
19 Nov 2013: 7%
8 Dec 2013: 5%
22 Dec 2013: 6%
15 Jan 2014: 6%
2 Feb 2014: 5%
14 Feb 2014: 6%
2 Mar 2014: 4%

(Methodology: jumping through UK Polling Report a couple of pages at a time, starting on 1st January and aiming for rough fortnightly intervals.)

The trend, it seems fair to say, is clear. Allowing for the normal minor fluctuations due to the ever-present 3% margin of error and occasional blips for one-off events like the party conference in September, the downward slide is unbroken. Labour’s lead has dropped from around 12 points last January to around 4 points now.

If the graph extends over the next 14 months as has in the last 14, the Tories will be 4% ahead by May 2015 even without any UKIP voters coming back to them. (UKIP support is actually significantly up on those Jan 2013 polls – from 9% to 13% – yet the Tories have still gained a lot of ground on Labour.)

Unemployment is falling rapidly and growth is increasing. Even though neither statistic is changing in a way beneficial or noticeable to the great mass of people, those facts will benefit the Tories, who are always seen – whether justifiably or otherwise – as the party of safe economic stewardship. Austerity, they’ll be able to say, has worked, knowing that most people won’t look past the headlines.

Throw in the incumbency effect, the likelihood of some proportion of UKIP supporters voting tactically to ensure they get their referendum, and the solidifying of what’s left of the Lib Dems – their support is also up since January 2013 – and David Cameron and George Osborne will be feeling very confident indeed of a second term in office.

On the other hand, anyone in Scotland who’s counting on a UK Labour government (rather than independence) to provide them with protection from the Tories might be feeling their blood starting to run a little bit cold.

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  1. 29 04 14 12:15

    The dividing line | FreeScotland

  2. 01 12 14 15:02

    The ultimate irony | FreeScotland

70 to “What’s that coming over the hill?”

  1. Fiona says:

    Why would people vote for red tories when they can have the real thing?

  2. rabb says:

    If that doesn’t convince people who’ll be sitting in the Westminster driving seat come the next UKGE then nothing will.

    As the Proclaimers number below suggests I can’t understand why we let these people rule our land?

    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gApwpSWAhbQ&w=420&h=315%5D

  3. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    What would be the effect of no Scottish MPs at Westminster?

    viz

    If the Scottish MPs are factored out, based on an SNP win and some sort of deal being, either the Scottish cohort from 2016 will attend and only vote on Scottish Independence related matters (all of them and hopefully largely SNP) or that they will attend and not vote unless it was for the benefit of Scotland (not the same thing)?

  4. Vestas says:

    Why would anyone in their right mind vote for Milliband, Balls & Harman?

  5. Training Day says:

    I see the point’s already been made on the Rev’s Twitter feed, but, at least as far as Scottish Labour MPs are concerned, they couldn’t give a flying monkeys whether Labour are in power or not after 2015, being quite content to be governed by the Tories till doomsday so long as they keep their seats in their rotten boroughs.

    This all depends on a No vote being achieved, of course.

  6. bookie from hell says:

    THE SUN

    page2

    Cameron comparing Independence to a dodgy 2nd hand car

  7. bunter says:

    It should concentrate the minds of plenty of old school Labour voters in the run up to the referendum, though as we have come to realise, SLab politicos would rather have Tory Westminster rule, than an indy Scotland with a Labour Government.

  8. Harry says:

    Completely off topic but I thought I would post this in the most recent piece. Last Saturday’s Daily Record View was high in its praise of Alistair Darling. This annoyed me ever so slightly so, after some research, mainly gleaned from the Business for Scotland website and the New Statesman, I rattled off the e-mail below. The Record letters page has included plenty of pro-independence letters recently but somehow I didn’t expect this one to get printed. Now I don’t have a keen brain for this sort of thing so I wondered if I got anything wrong, or did they just decide that their readers shouldn’t be troubled with this sort of thing. I would be interested in any feedback.

    The Record View on Saturday 8th March stated that The Royal Bank of Scotland “would not exist if it were not for Alistair Darling, and the British taxpayer bailing them out with £83billion.” We could argue all day about Darling’s role in the deregulation of the banks and the crisis that then befell them in 2008, however it’s a little known or publicised fact that the US Federal Reserve contributed far more than the UK taxpayer in bailing out our banks.

    The Reserve made available emergency loans of £285bn to RBS and £115bn to HBOS. The UK Government bailout to those banks actually amounted to £65bn. Furthermore, the US Federal Reserve are the main reason that Barclays Bank still exists today, bailing it out to the tune of £552bn. Why? Because the bank were one of the single largest purchasers of US government debt. The US had to intervene so that its debt market didn’t collapse and prevent a greater meltdown in that nation. Barclays have since paid off all its loans, after their purchase of Lehman Brothers.

  9. Thomas William Dunlop says:

    Stu says
    anyone in Scotland who’s counting on a UK Labour government (rather than independence) to provide them with protection from the Tories might be feeling their blood starting to run a little bit cold.

    I think these people’s blood is already cold, they would break no sweat in having the delight of the Tories doing their dirty work. As you have said previously, opposition is the state of grace for them. “To hell with people, as long as we still have our jobs”

  10. bunter says:

    @ bookie from hell

    I saw that, had a quick glance at my fathers copy (I don’t buy papers myself) and noticed that the sun editorial had a go at Cameron saying along the lines of ” you wouldn’t buy a second hand car from him”. Fair do’s to the Sun for that ouch!

  11. G H Graham says:

    TOP TIP

    Labour voters; mumble to yourself but in earshot of Labour canvassers, “I think I left the oven on”, as you enter the polling booth, so you will have a plausible excuse for hastily voting Conservative in 2016.

  12. Illy says:

    “On the other hand, anyone in Scotland who’s counting on a UK Labour government (rather than independence) to provide them with protection from the Tories might be feeling their blood starting to run a little bit cold.”

    I’m going to sorta echo Fiona here, Anyone who’s counting on the UK Labour Party to protect them from the Tories hasn’t been paying much attention to the UK Labour Party for the last few decades.

  13. scottish_skier says:

    4 point Labour lead now down from an 11 point one in January 2013 is about right. Steady, continuous loss for Labour with the Tories gaining in a slow but solid fashion since mid 2013 after the UKIP spring council election peak.

  14. Vronsky says:

    You lost me, Rev. You think it matters what flavour of Tory rules next? I suppose, in a sort of Brechtian alienation kind of a way, it’s an interesting question. Will the next UK government be Tory, or Tory, or (outside chance) Tory?

  15. desimond says:

    If Scotland votes YES, how badly will that shake the confidence of Unionist Parties standing in Scotland in the following General Election.

    Squeaky Bum time me thinks, especially with their limited resources knowing another election is then coming in 2016!

  16. Clootie says:

    I agree that a Labour win is now unlikely. As regards Scotland the Tories may actually increase their seats due to the collapse of the LibDems. Electoral Calculus gives a fairly robust model under the Scotland tab.

    I will be interested to see the Electoral Calaculus update at the end of the month when they factor in these latest polls (They currently predict a 58 seat Labour majority)

    A good tool under the Scotland section is the ward selection. It lets you target a campaign at a particular ward based on their voting profile.

    If a “NO” vote is returned in September it will make little difference who wins the GE as they will follow the same game plan. Don’t jump on me but I actually think Labour would be the worst possible outcome for Scotland. Why – because I think the Tories would tread us “slightly” softer after a win. The local labour natives would be unleashed (Milliband has no idea regarding his distant tribes culture)

    …and a choice between Osborne and Balls just wants to make me cry!

  17. rab_the_doubter says:

    Harry,

    Your letter – too many words and too much substance. The Daily Record would never print it bearing in mind that it shows a level of intellect far higher than any of their journalists could possibly aspire to. Also, you forgot to attach the customary default Daily Record thumbs up – happy or thumbs down – sad photograph which should take up at least 3/4 of the page.

  18. heedtracker says:

    London centric Labour politics is all about do as we say silly little region called Scotland but you’d think that Labour in Scotland would realise by now Scotland is a lot more progressive, liberal left than Westminster wants to be. Every time Stair Heed Rammy kicks off at Holyrood FMQ’s the spluttering anger at Scotland pours out of them, although its Salmond that gets it as usual. Snatcher Thatcher said there is no alternative but there is and its YES.

  19. Ivan McKee says:

    One other interesting factor is the impact of recent polling showing SNP ahead of SLAB in Westminster VI.

    UK Polling Report website has an advanced Swingometer that allows different support levels for Scotland to be entered along with the overall UK numbers.

    When you put the latest Scottish Westminster VI into the calculator, and keep the UK numbers the same, Labour is down about 10 – 12 seats (due to the fact that much of the inbuilt advantage Labour gets in the current constituency set-up is actually in Scottish seats).

    So anyone looking at uniform swing at a UK level only is going to miss this – Labour’s inbuilt mathematical advantage in the current set-up isn’t as big as you would think.

  20. Illy says:

    Sorry for going off-topic here, but I just gave up watching FMQs, because everyone keeps asking Alex Salmond “When did you stop beating your wife?”

  21. Les Wilson says:

    O/T Did anyone see the Tory P.P.Broadcast on STV the other night. I thought it was hilarious and soo Westminster. We had around six small business owners proclaiming how well they were doing under the Tory policies. Only one had a Scottish accent, all the rest clearly English.

    We had Cameron, we had Osborne, all very contrived. It seemed to me this was ALL done in England, then we had Ruthie from a small room somewhere, to me she seemed just added on to the rest of it. This was not a broadcast for Scotland, this was pre made in a London studio and the Ruthie bit just added at the end of it.

    To show how well English Businesses are doing, is hardly going to influence Scottish voters, this was cobbled together mess. Just shows how serious the Tory’s are to win Scottish votes, and it shows very clearly what they really think of us. More likely to add YES votes rather than the other way round.

  22. No No No...Yes says:

    The problem for the Scottish Labour Party is that even if they promise the people of Scotland jam tomorrow, it will get ignored by the UK Labour Party. Why?

    Have a look at their website http://www.labour.org.uk/how_we_work

    It appears that The National Executive Committee is the governing body and represents all key stakeholders in the party. It also forms the basis for the Election Manifesto. I do not see any specific reference to what influence, if any, the Scottish Labour Party has in national policy setting.

    The website has a link to their Your Britain website which is the home of the 2015 Agenda. It promotes a One Nation Britain, which is accurate as there is no reference to Scotland at all. There is no mention of Johann and her crew in any of the policy areas indicating that they will be ignored completely. Mmm.

    You decide.

  23. Vincent McDee says:

    @Rev Stu

    “On the other hand, anyone in Scotland who’s counting on a UK Labour government (rather than independence) to provide them with protection from the Tories might be feeling their blood starting to run a little bit cold”

    Frozen actually:

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/referendum-news/camleys-cartoon-on-the-better-together-campaigns-reaction-to-the-gers-repor.1394700852

  24. Gillie says:

    “Scaremongering a myth”, claims Cameron.

    The near certainty of a Tory government being elected in 2015 will truly scare the living daylights out of Scots, especially those traditional Labour voters.

    We now know what is coming our way if Scotland votes NO.

  25. Roll_On_2014 says:

    OT

    It looks as though the penny has finally started to drop that Scotland could vote YES in the referendum.

    Scottish MPs ‘to continue shaping English law after independence vote’

    Appears that the Scottish troughers are starting to sweat:

    The possibility that Lords based in Scotland may also be able to keep their peerages was raised by Lord Wallace of Tankerness QC, the Advocate General for Scotland.

    He said that if a Lord continued to pay tax in the UK they may be able to still attend the Lords after independence.

    Lord Wallace said the issue would be “whether people thought it was worth paying income tax in two separate countries to continue their membership of the House of Lords”.

  26. Gillie says:

    The TORIES are coming. The TORIES are coming –

    – replete with plans to punish us all.

  27. Gillie says:

    Vincent McDee:

    That was my idea and Steven Camley of the Herald stole it. That is intellectual theft.

  28. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “You lost me, Rev. You think it matters what flavour of Tory rules next?”

    Not much. I think it matters to a lot of the people of Scotland, though, whether rightly or wrongly. If they think the (official) Tories are going to win in 2015, they’re significantly more likely to vote Yes.

  29. rab_the_doubter says:

    R4 drama on now. Listening with interest

  30. bookie from hell says:

    Eds Eu referendum speech went down like a lead ballon,thats the 4% gone next poll

  31. desimond says:

    @No No No..Yes

    Falkirk confirmed the burst balloon that is Scottish Labour. No wonder JoLa wasnt on our TV screens, she wasnt even involved in selecting a Candidate for a Scottish seat, truly embarrassing.

    As every day passes, the optimistic thought diminishes that post any YES vote, a new free Scottish Labour party would be any better for the Scottish People. I fear they are all beyond saving.

  32. Macandroid says:

    The ‘Scottish’ Lards – we won’t be paying for them and I don’t see the rUK, English taxpayers especially, agreeing to keep their snouts in the trough1

  33. Tamson says:

    Ivan, I’d disagree a bit – FPTP gives Labour a huge advantage in England. In the 2005 election, the Tories got 60000 more votes than Labour in England, but got nearly 100 fewer MPs.

  34. Dcanmore says:

    Labour are caught between the erosion of their core vote and the melting away of their recently acquired middle-class vote. With Miliband being a pretty invisible grey suit and a party with no distinct or radical progressive policies then why should the middle class of England vote for Labour today? Both parties are trying to win the me-me-me voters of SE England to win the next GE and I think we know who will do that more successfully.

  35. scottish_skier says:

    Man, looks like we filled more seats at the EICC for a conference on gas hydrates than the Tories have managed for DC’s opening speech.

    I addressed ~620 in the welcoming session (in a kilt I might add). Have I outdone the PM?

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bisfl3rCIAAZfx8.jpg

  36. scottish_skier says:

    Note the EICC theatre is in 1200 seat mode for Dave.

    There are 2 x 300 sections that revolve away up at the back to form another 2 ‘separate’ (see what I did there) theatres – they look pretty much empty.

  37. Desimond says:

    @scottish_skier

    What goes around comes around.

    It wasnae so long that the English Tories were sticking wee Ruthie is a daft wee side room and left her addressing naebodies. Only fair we get our own back.

  38. red squirrel says:

    So, that’ll be a minority Tory government with UKIP alliance in 2015… Project Fear is peaking too soon.

  39. Abaron Nomore says:

    Quite apart from the steady erosion of Labour’s poll lead, there is one seismic event due this September which should be factored into any calculation of the likely result of the next UK GE.

    In the horrific event of a No vote, which party is most likely to reap the benefit in the key swing constituencies in the SE? Who is seen as the leader of the campaign to slap down the whinging Jocks and preserve the glorious UK? It sure as hell ain’t backbench Labour nonentity Alastair Darling.

    I can only see the Tories romping home. Disgustingly, “Scottish” Labour will privately be quite happy with that result and it will clearly be the fault of Alex Salmond.

  40. cearc says:

    @ss,

    Gas hydrates are more interesting than a load of irated gas.

  41. Appleby says:

    The unemployment changes are a total fiddle as usual. People shoved into the modern day labour camps or chucked off the dole or ground into depression and illness and giving up.

    As usual the average people are not seeing any benefit from these supposed “upswings” as the transfer of wealth from the many to the few continues and the bubbles from before are simply reinflated or covered up instead of being dealt with.

    I’m still seeing a combination of high streets slowly looking like the aftermath of a warzone and a steady decline in the pay and quality of the few jobs that are still available, more and more are barely scraping by on minimum wage with little to no hope of anything better. I can’t imagine how heart breaking and difficult it must be for new families with this seemingly never ending future in sight.

  42. john king says:

    Les Wilson says
    “O/T Did anyone see the Tory P.P.Broadcast on STV the other night. I thought it was hilarious and soo Westminster. We had around six small business owners proclaiming how well they were doing under the Tory policies. Only one had a Scottish accent, all the rest clearly English.”

    They could have saved a barrowload of money for their real campaign in England by making it like this for Scotland

    This is a party political broadcast on behalf of the conservative and unionist party”

    FUCK OFF SCOTLAND

    and that ends the party political broadcast on behalf of the Conservative and Unionist party.

  43. ianbeag says:

    Craig Murray suggests a fine solution for Danny Alexander’s problem http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/03/danny-alexanders-colon/

  44. Papadox says:

    How strange times have become. People are working out whether labour will shield them from a Tory government or whether labour will be worse than the Tories ?

    Correct me if I am mistaken: GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE BY THE PEOPLE FOR THE PEOPLE! Is that not the idea.

    When you need protection from the people you elect. Then you have the wrong system.

    HENCE INDEPENDENCE, RULE OF SCOTLAND BY SCOTLAND FOR SCOTLAND.

  45. Ivan McKee says:

    @ Tamson

    That effect occurs outside Scotland as well for sure (and most of it is outside Scotland, and that will continue), but the dynamic in Scotland has changed based on latest Westminster VI and that isn’t factored into the uniform swing analysis that is being quoted.

    For sure Labour across the UK will still enjoy a significant advantage in votes vs seats, but what is happening in Scotland will impact that effect by about 10-12 seats, which is significant in a tight race.

  46. Donald says:

    Tory Party conference – anybody in there younger than 80?

  47. Vronsky says:

    “anyone in Scotland who’s counting on a UK Labour government (rather than independence) to provide them with protection from the Tories”

    Are there such creatures, who expect dragons to protect them from dragons?

  48. pmcrek says:

    Sort of on topic, but its an argument I have been making for a while, Westminster is actually a proportional electoral system.. no seriously.

    The goal of boundary commissions are to provide both the Labour and Tory party with a level of inherent bias in the system that is proportional to one another.

    This is “Fairness” Westminster style. At the moment the Tories win 30% more seats than they are due from their vote and Labour win 37% more seats than they are due. Obviously its the 7% difference thats really undemocratic…

  49. No No No...Yes says:

    Here are a couple of belters from the recent speech by Margaret Curran MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland:

    1. “The White paper- it couldn’t answer the single most important question that people needed an answer to. What would be our currency? ”

    Really, check page 110 of the document: “They (Fiscal Commission) concluded that retaining Sterling as part of a formal monetary union with rest of the UK will be the best option.

    2. “As Gordon Brown has pointed out, our union is more successful at redistributing wealth than any union in history.”

    Yeah, from Scotland, the North and South West of England to the South East of England.

    There were many more rants from Mags, but I’m sure you get the gist of it. However, in fairness to her I liked the closing statement:

    “And in the words of John Smith, in one of the final speeches he gave, here in Oxford in November 1993: Instead of accepting things as they are, think about the way things could be.”

    Shadow Scottish Secretary, the people of Scotland agree with you on that one, we are going to Vote Yes for a better future.

  50. Robert Kerr says:

    Donald

    Don’t forget the “carers” for the infirm and/or demented. Do “carers” count as attendees?

  51. SquareHaggis says:

    O/T

    Just received my Spring Edition of Mobil E&P’s Courier Magazine.
    Not available online but I gave a hary copy I could scan.
    Interesting article on “Peak Oil Theory”

    From what I’m reading, they’re ramping up for BIG things happening in the Shetland area 2014, apparently it’s set to become a supplier of 17% of UK output.

    Major investments, exciting times etc. etc.

    Nothing like what’s being portrayed thru the tully.

  52. Donald says:

    O/T (apols)

    Women for Indy crowdfunding site http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/women-for-independence-our-voices-fundraiser

    The polls suggest that more female Yes votes are needed for us to win.

  53. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Are there such creatures, who expect dragons to protect them from dragons?”

    Judging by the last Holyrood election, at least 600,000 of them.

  54. Juteman says:

    I’m starting to enjoy Fridays even more than usual. The conversation at work on a Friday tends to be more interesting, as folk discuss weekend plans. Last Friday I was surprised to hear 2 folk coming out for Yes, one of whom I had down for a definite No.
    Today, another workmate declared he was voting Yes. Mind you, he is only a young lad, and his reason was more of a ‘fuck it, it would mean a great party’.

  55. Wp says:

    Juteman, “it would be a great party” is a better reason than any no reason I’ve heard.

  56. M4rkyboy says:

    Sorry folks,completely OT but it angered me so much that i had to share it.
    http://www.thejc.com/comment-and-debate/columnists/116487/if-i-were-scottish-i-wouldnt-vote-independence

  57. Ayeman says:

    HARRY.
    You are spot on with your correction of the Record View perpetuating the myth of Darling as the saviour of RBS. I too e-mailed the Record and pointed out that the US Federal Reserve had bailed out UK banks with a total of I trillion dollars. Unfortunately Harry, unless your contribution included reference to “Salmond – Bad Bad Man”, “Union Good” the chances of publication are slim.
    BTW (rhetorical question) If me, Harry and countless others can access the facts about bank bailouts then why on earth can’t our Scottish MSM “journalists”?

  58. Robert Kerr says:

    Donald,

    A contribution made to the Lassies, God bless them.

    Come on guys. Lest this site is deemed misogynistic.

  59. Andrew Morton says:

    That Geoffrey Alderman is a total balloon. I see that there’s no comment facility, luckily for him!

  60. msean says:

    O/T John Kerry just cited the legality of the Scottish referendum,should be noted for when that ‘unamed source’ a few weeks back that mooted non recognition of the referendum result comes round again on the vote no carousel.You know it will lol.

  61. wee162 says:

    The UKIP vote isn’t going to be spread around, it’s going to come out in safe Labour or Tory seats (I’m not convinced the Lib Dems will have any safe seats to speak of!). UKIP voters aren’t going to blow the tories chance of winning and they’ll vote tactically to ensure they don’t torpedo it.

    I’d be very far from surprised if UKIP don’t even campaign in marginal seats the tories have a chance of winning. Why would they? Worst thing that can happen to them is Labour winning and they still couldn’t force a referendum because they can’t get the votes in a FPTP system.

    So I’d fully expect UKIP to get around 5% or so of the total vote, but mostly it will come from the shires in safe tory seats and from the cities in safe Labour seats where their anti establishment stuff goes down well.

  62. Dan Huil says:

    Just made a wee donation for women for independence. Wish it could be more.

  63. Morag says:

    Sorry folks,completely OT but it angered me so much that i had to share it.
    http://www.thejc.com/comment-and-debate/columnists/116487/if-i-were-scottish-i-wouldnt-vote-independence

    Annoying, and very bigoted of course. But under it were two links to other articles in the same journal which are absolutely fine and indeed pro-independence. So overall, not really a concern.

    And one really encouraging thing in there that I didn’t know. There is at the moment virtually no shechita slaughter in Scotland. This is really good news for animal welfare. Halal slaughter is bad, but shechita is far worse. Truly inhumane. I didn’t realise it wasn’t happening here and that kosher meat is imported. Still not good but you can only look after your own back yard and hope others will see the light as regards theirs.

  64. M4rkyboy says:

    I will contribute a case of Diet Irn Bru and a Patrick Swayze box set if it helps

  65. M4rkyboy says:

    No one puts Scotland in the corner

  66. Like some of you I used to write to the letters page of the D.R, when it was full size, and had quite a bit of success in getting letters published. But immediately the referendum date was announced, my pro-independence views were very rarely given space. However, I’ve noticed in the past few weeks we are seeing more Yes supporters gaining prominence. Don’t know why this is happening since their editorials, and other articles still spout the same old unionist bilge. As for Labour winning the next U.K election , nae chance. The elected the wrong person as their leader, Ed, and as Frank Skinner, a Labour supporter said last week the man is a clown. He, Miliband, made a crucial error with his neither in or out of the E.U this week and will never be P.M.

  67. call me dave says:

    God! There is a huge amount of jam getting promised,a plethora of flavours too.

    The place is reeking with the smells of various recipes dating back to 1922 and a very special variety which caught the imagination of Scots in 1979 some say. Astonishing that the product should suddenly become so popular at this time with better together supporters.

    Some say that jam spoons will be provided with union jack motifs and will be best enjoyed when being force fed by staff from the MSM and BBC on a daily basis from 19th September this year.

    🙁

    .

  68. john king says:

    “Sorry folks,completely OT but it angered me so much that i had to share it.”

    The guy is obviously meshugenah 😉

  69. archie mcneill says:

    let em fight it out might water down their passion about telling us poor wee Scotties that were not able to think we might have a chance to tell the truth and we can hope our ain folk listen and believe in their abilities



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