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Tory poll surge as trust in Blair collapses
Daily Telegraph

Posted on 06/01/2003 5:57:41 AM PDT by may18

By Toby Helm, Chief Political Correspondent (Filed: 30/05/2003)

The first signs of a solidly-based Tory recovery for a decade are revealed today in an opinion poll that shows a collapse of trust in Tony Blair is beginning to hurt Labour.

A YouGov survey for The Telegraph puts the Conservatives just one point behind Labour, their highest poll rating since 1992 apart from a blip during the fuel crisis in the autumn of 2000.

The results are a further shot in the arm for Iain Duncan Smith four weeks after the Conservatives gained 561 council seats to become the largest party in local government in England. Tory strategists insisted last night that they still had much to do but claimed that policies on university funding, taxation and Europe were striking a chord with voters.

For the first time since Mr Duncan Smith became leader in September 2001, more voters - 19 per cent - believe he would be a better prime minister than the 15 per cent who back Charles Kennedy, the Liberal Democrat leader.

Click to enlarge The Tories also lie just one point behind Labour on the issue of economic competence, one of Labour's strongest cards at the 2001 general election. The findings will cause alarm in Labour ranks at a time when Mr Blair is under pressure from his backbenchers and the party rank and file to explain why no weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq.

The YouGov survey puts Labour on 37 per cent, down three points, the Conservatives on 36 per cent, up four per cent, and the Liberal Democrats on 20 per cent, down one per cent.

A month ago, when the Government was enjoying a post-war rise in popularity - the so-called "Baghdad bounce" - the gap between Labour and Conservatives was eight points.

The Tories' recent pledge to abolish student tuition fees appears to be having a positive influence. Their proposals stand in contrast to Labour's plans to allow universities to charge up to £3,000 a year for courses.

Although 52 per cent of voters agreed that universities are "chronically underfunded", 43 per cent said they were "more sympathetic to the Conservatives" after their promise to scrap tuition fees. Among parents and students the figure was 53 per cent.

Even more worrying for Mr Blair is the dramatic fall in trust in his Government.

Just 29 per cent think that, on balance, the Government has been honest and trustworthy - almost half the level, 56 per cent, of the 2001 election. On the other hand, 62 per cent said it was not honest - more than double the 2001 level.

Mr Blair's personal ratings are also suffering - 38 per cent now think he would make the best prime minister, down five per cent on April and 14 per cent on 2001.

Strategists believe Labour's splits over the euro are harming the party in the same way that divisions dented Tory popularity during the later years of John Major's premiership.

Labour officials point out that the party is, in historical terms, still in a remarkably strong mid-term position. Most governing parties languish well behind the Opposition in mid-term. To maintain the momentum, Mr Duncan Smith is planning a major speech - entitled New Europe: Old Europe - next month in which he will outline his thinking on Britain's relations with the EU and Europe's relationship with America.

One aide to Mr Duncan Smith said the party was finally getting its ideas across. He said: "It's one thing to have the policies, quite another to communicate them. We are beginning to do that."


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: conservativeparty; ianduncansmith; labour; labourparty; tonyblair; tories; uk; unitedkingdom
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To: taxcontrol
Once upon a time Labour believed in Government ownership of the means of production. That means state ownership of mines, factories, and major industries. In response to Maggie Thatcher's several successful runs, Labour deleted that plank from their platform, under the leadership of Tony Blair. The election seemed to be mostly about whether Maggie was out of touch with the commoners after many many years in Number 10 Downing St.

There still are some unreformed socialists on the Labour team, but as a whole, the state ownership was tried and found wanting. Labour is now more centrist Democratic Socialists. They have the additional wiggle of appointing tons of "sit there for life" peers to their House of Lords, as payment for services rendered to various civil servants.

Tories are the Conservative Party, and would limit peerage to people who perform services to the Crown, think generals instead of career social workers. The Tories tend to think that people should work for part of their life.

With regards to the EU, Tories would keep the pound and remain soverign, and Labour would hand over monetary policy to France and Germany. Tories would also keep the UK-US and commonwealth special relationships, Labour would build counter vailing relationships with the European Continent.

Volumes have been written. Above comes from a short lunchtime chat with a UK engineer on a visit.
61 posted on 06/01/2003 9:01:14 PM PDT by donmeaker (Time is Relative, at least in my family.)
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To: quebecois
I understood that Huey Long was actually shot by accident by at least one of his bodyguards. He ended up between the body guard and the guy that his body guards decided to shoot. OOPS!

On the whole, I agree that the 2 percent of crazies lead to better manners on the part of the politicians. The very unpredictability of the US citizen acts as a deterrent.



62 posted on 06/01/2003 9:06:19 PM PDT by donmeaker (Time is Relative, at least in my family.)
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To: quebecois
You have Strauss backwards. Strauss favored careful and unpleasant truths, not noble lies and vacuous slogans.
63 posted on 06/01/2003 9:08:36 PM PDT by FreedomFlyer
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To: Paleo Conservative
Yes, but how do you prove that you don't have something?
64 posted on 06/01/2003 9:14:56 PM PDT by plusone
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To: AmishDude
He's in Minsk with his colleague-in-insanity, Lukashenka.
65 posted on 06/01/2003 9:20:12 PM PDT by plusone
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To: Jorge
Interesting. The articles I read seemed to imply that Blair's poll numbers had dropped in the area of "trust" due to the WMD issue.

Thats why the articles are very misleading, the tories along with blair and against his own labour party's wishes, were for the war.

The real reason he's dropping, with his party, is his fight against a referendum about british soverignty, basically he just wants to give it up to the EU, while the people strongly oppose it.

66 posted on 06/01/2003 9:28:58 PM PDT by Sonny M ("oderint dum metuant")
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To: quebecois
You seem to be devastated that we liberated a country from a ruthless dictator. (Friend of Jean Chretien, aren't you?)
67 posted on 06/01/2003 9:37:07 PM PDT by Mihalis ((just kidding, man))
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To: quebecois
The fact that the stated reasons for the invasion don't add up fans the suspicion that some people in power had ulterior motives.

Such as?

68 posted on 06/01/2003 9:47:23 PM PDT by The Iguana
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To: The Iguana
If you can answer post #54 for me, then I myself might cease speculating on the possibility of ulterior motives.
69 posted on 06/01/2003 10:13:41 PM PDT by Fraulein
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To: quebecois
while ignoring the interests of broad middle america

Well, I'm still waiting for the "Middle American Radicals" to "rise up" like your pal Sam Francis said they would back in 1991. Maybe we would take you Rockfordites more seriously if they weren't such a bunch of clowns and cultists.

70 posted on 06/01/2003 11:29:55 PM PDT by Clemenza (East side, West side, all around the town. Tripping the light fantastic on the sidewalks of New York)
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To: AmishDude; Matchett-PI
Where is Saddam Hussein? We have been unable to find him. He, therefore, must never have existed.

This oft-repeated false analogy is ridiculous. Saddam Hussein could easily vanish into a hole in a basement wall. 15,000 to 30,000 chemical munitions; thousands of tons of weaponized chemical arms; hundreds of gallons of biological agents; a reconstituted nuclear program with procurement of uranium & missile cores; a fleet of remote-guided WMD drones; dozens of mobile biochem laboratories; and dozens of Scud missile delivery systems could not...

71 posted on 06/02/2003 1:41:13 AM PDT by AntiGuv ()
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To: Bonaparte
No, I suspect you've misconstrued my meaning. As I clearly stated, the prewar WMD thesis which I've accurately described is strictly defunct. It is incorrect, false, wrong, illusory, unreal, whatever term you prefer. There is no conceivable possibility in my view that it could prove remotely accurate.

The view which may be incorrect is that the foremost explanation for that innacurate intelligence appears to have been misleading information from the Iraqi opposition groups.

72 posted on 06/02/2003 3:56:43 AM PDT by AntiGuv ()
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To: AntiGuv
Dude, here's some food for thought: If we were so horrifically wrong about WMDs in Iraq, why haven't France (especially France), Germany, and Russia been shouting neener, neener, neener from the rooftops? Haven't you wondered why they've been so quiet on the subject? Why there've been no recriminations, accusations, told ya so's? Hmmmmmm...?
73 posted on 06/02/2003 4:05:39 AM PDT by mewzilla
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To: mewzilla
Because they no longer have anything to gain, and much to lose. All those reasons people talked about over why they would eventually come around in the UN (Russian oil contracts, U.S. bases in Germany, French trade & intl. standing, etc.,etc.) are still very much around. It was one thing when they thought they could derail the war altogether; quite another now that the war is over & we have Iraq. They want all sorts of things from us (as the G-8 Conference is currently demonstrating) that they won't get if they continue antagonizing the Bush administration.
74 posted on 06/02/2003 4:26:55 AM PDT by AntiGuv ()
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To: AntiGuv
dozens of mobile biochem laboratories; and dozens of Scud missile delivery systems could not...

Found it!

Oh, I doubt Saddam Hussein, he of the vast palaces, is in a "hole".

75 posted on 06/02/2003 5:03:54 AM PDT by AmishDude
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To: Rodney King
It's not right to tax a 20 year old farmer so that some brat who is going to make plenty throughout his life can go to college for free.

Of course not. But this policy makes sense once you understand the motivation: universal, compulsory "education" from birth through 22 years of age.

76 posted on 06/02/2003 5:07:56 AM PDT by Aquinasfan
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To: AmishDude
If you want the comparable analogy to what had been proposed as Iraq's WMD capability prior to the war, that would be the entire Baath Party. Evidence of the Baath Party is quite undeniable and easily identified, so far as I can tell. Finding Saddam Hussein himself would be analogous to finding the 'crown jewel' of Iraq's alleged WMD infrastructure - say, the 29,984 munitions capable of delivering chemical agents to which President Bush alluded in his State of the Union address.
77 posted on 06/02/2003 5:15:46 AM PDT by AntiGuv ()
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To: AntiGuv
If you want the comparable analogy . . .

I've got an analogy to your last reply: Have you ever heard of Calvinball?

78 posted on 06/02/2003 5:28:06 AM PDT by AmishDude
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To: AmishDude
Actually, I take that back, the "crown jewel" of the allegations would probably have to be facilities for electromagnetic isotope separation and gas centrifuge enrichment as well as "more than 10 tonnes of uranium and one tonne of slightly enriched uranium ... in its possession" as alleged in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee back in August.
79 posted on 06/02/2003 5:31:59 AM PDT by AntiGuv ()
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To: AmishDude
Have you ever heard of logical fallacies?

Check out this one: False Analogy.

80 posted on 06/02/2003 5:36:06 AM PDT by AntiGuv ()
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