Having not attended yesterday’s Konigswinter conference I didn’t pick up the entire speech from Vince Cable, business secretary – other than his controversial comments about immigration.
But Labour sources have pointed me towards Vince’s thinly-guarded warning about where growth will come from if Britain and all its trading partners are all on an austerity drive.
These comments would be unexciting if they were from an independent economist, FT leader writer or Labour MP. From a coalition cabinet minister they are quite striking.
In a startling piece of analysis by Philip Cowley, one of Britain’s foremost psephologists, over at Left Foot Forward. Prof Cowley, who works at Nottingham Uni, points out that strong polling after a general election defeat can be a hugely misleading augur for future performance. Labour take note.
Cowley argues that the 1997 experience – whereby New Labour maintained a poll lead for years after 1997 – was atypical. He offers up three intriguing counter-examples. Read more
As Paul Waugh points out today, David Miliband has questioned whether anyone really knows who is pulling ahead in the Labour leadership race. Most amusingly he has reminded people of the April/May opinion polls that put Nick Clegg in the front of the general election popularity stakes – only for the LibDems to lose seats at the final tally in a humiliating denouement. In Miliband’s words:
Just look at Nick Clegg during the general election he consistently claimed he’d beat Labour into third place. He didn’t. Read more
It would be a hugely totemic move if the government did scrap council housing tenants’ right to buy their own home. After all it was one of Thatcher’s more popular domestic policies.
Grant Shapps, housing minister, has denied* a frontpage report in the Guardian today suggesting that “right to buy” is under review. That newspaper had reported that Lib Dems had been told Shapps was looking at ways to increase the number of social homes in Britain. In theory ending “right to buy” would be one way of doing that – or at least preventing the existing stock from eroding further. Read more