Daily Archives: April 11, 2010

The FT’s Robert Shrimsley joined Clive Anderson yesterday for the BBC’s weekly election show, The Heckler. Click here for a link to the broadcast, in which philosopher Alain de Botton, football pundit Hunter Davies and TV soapwatcher Gareth McClean discuss the campaign so far – and look ahead to the leaders’ debate later this week.

A unanimous consensus is always something to be wary of, particularly when it doesn’t quite reflect the evidence available.

So when eight of Britain’s top pollsters all predict a Conservative majority — in spite of current polls indicating there’s a strong chance of a hung parliament — it is worth unpacking their hunch.

Given all the uncertainties in this election campaign, why do all eight forecasts fit in a range of about 40 seats? Is there something they know that we don’t? 

National Insurance: 46 per cent back Tory plans to reverse National Insurance rise. But, if a tax has to go up, 55 per cent prefer to raise National Insurance rather than VAT (YouGov/Sunday Times)

Marriage tax break: 19 per cent are more likely to vote Tory because of marriage tax break (YouGov/Sunday Times). But 59 per cent think the tax break should go to unmarried couples too (ICM Sun/Telegraph) 

Election winner will frame the big question: Rawnsley, Observer
Cameron faces being judged by a higher standard in debates — Sunday Tel
Tory Scrooge to Santa conversion could backfire — Ivens, Sunday Times
Clegg warns over social strife if Tories win tiny majority — The Observer
Cameron wants a “big city mayor” to be future Tory leader — Sunday Tel
Brown heckler never turned down for a school place – Mail on Sunday
Reunion of the Tory ‘Young Turks’ from 1992 — The Observer
Meet Cameron’s closest adviser: Steve Hilton — McElvoy, Sunday Times

Just picked up a first edition of The Observer and it’s leading with Nick Clegg warning that Britain faces “serious social strife” if a government without a popular mandate starts wielding the public spending axe.

It’s certainly a novel twist on the standard arguments about a hung parliament. Clegg’s pitch is basically that a minority government would be good for the country because it better represents the split of the popular vote.

A narrow victory for the Tories or Labour would wreak havoc because they would be sacking public sector workers, slashing programmes and freezing wages after having secured as little as a quarter of eligible votes.