Undecided voters coming off the fence for Tories, UKIP and Lib Dems slip

Two polls out tonight have the Conservatives closing the gap with Labour to just 1%, with UKIP and the Lib Dems falling back.

Political Betting‘s Mike Smithson reports that:

Tonight’s Survation poll for the Mail on Sunday provides a massive boost for the Tories following the budget.

The pollster, which pioneered prompting for Farage’s party, has traditionally had the biggest shares for UKIP. That’s down 3 to 15% while the Tories jump 4. The LDs also see a 3% drop.

My understanding is that a big driver of the Tory advance is that far fewer 2010 CON voters are now saying don’t know. On top of that there are fewer 2010 CON voters switching to the purples.

There’s a long way to go to Election 2015, but this week’s Budget and Labour’s appalling response to it seems to have resulted in a Conservative bounce at the expense of the smaller parties.  If tonight’s polls are not outliers, it could signal the early start to the two party squeeze this blog has been predicting.  If that happens, and more undecideds come down on the Tory side to prevent Miliband taking the keys to Downing Street, then Labour is not yet a dead cert to win the election.

4 Responses to “Undecided voters coming off the fence for Tories, UKIP and Lib Dems slip”

  1. 1 Dave 23/03/2014 at 11:09 am

    Again with the implicit trust for polls……. there is nothing that the Government won’t do to control public opinion including, in my opinion, careful manipulation of supposedly independent polling results. Funny how these polls never seem to accord with the opinions of people we talk to in everyday life. Of course an outright deceptive poll result (tories 65% labour 10% etc) would draw immediate attention to it but ‘subtle’ changes tend to mean a lot and still have an effect.
    Remind me again, who is the boss of YouGov married to????

  2. 2 JohnR 23/03/2014 at 11:28 am

    The reform of pensions in the budget is the cause.

    ¨Take a man of my age who is a 40% taxpayer (and yes; I am). Now suppose they decide to put £10,000 into a pension when these new rules come into effect. The actual cost to them of doing so is £8,000: tax relief of 20% is given at source, meaning that whilst £10,000 is credited to the account they only have to write a cheque for £8,000 to achieve this result. In addition, they can put this pension contribution on their tax return and claim an additional £2000 of tax relief. A person paying the standard 20% tax rate can’t do that: we have a tax system that, perversely, and unjustly, rewards the pension savings of those who are already better off.

    Now suppose that this person who has made his contribution then decides to declare that they have retired. Admittedly, it looks under the new rules that they might have to wait until 60 to do this, but that’s not long. This does not mean that they have to stop working. It does also not mean that they have to say that they have retired for all their pension arrangements. They can do it with regard to just this one contribution that they have made and put into a separate retirement policy. So, with regard to this policy, which has been safely invested in cash in the meantime, they can now do a number of things.

    First they can take 25% of the value of the policy back, tax-free. For the sake of this exercise I’m going to presume that the interest earned on the policy in the year or so that it may have been invested covers the policy costs: it might not, but is not an unfair assumption. So, on a policy that cost them £6,000 after tax relief they now get £2,500 back, tax-free.

    Second, they now decide to take the rest of the policy as a lump sum. Because they are still earning they are still a higher rate taxpayer so tax at 40% will be paid on this: That is £3,000, giving them an immediate return of £4,500.

    Note the obvious point: they paid out £6,000 and have now got £7,000 back in cash, and that’s before taking into account the fact that the money will have been invested tax free in the meantime Even if there were some policy costs for setting up the arrangement what is glaringly obvious is that George Osborne has now set up the equivalent of a cashpoint machine for those over the age of 55 and it will be dispensing money for free, and for those over 60, almost instantly.

    If, suppose, instead of doing the above, the person making the contribution knew they were going to retire soon, and knew that they would then have an income which would then be subject to tax at only 20%. In this case the arrangement gets even better for them. Now they would only pay £1,500 in tax on withdrawing the lump sum, and will get £6,000 back from it plus £2,500 in a tax free lump sum. Now what was, in effect, a £6,000 pension contribution is turned into an almost guaranteed return of £8,500 in no time at all, entirely at cost to the taxpayer. Frankly, in that case, ratcheting up the contribution to the maximum possible makes complete sense, even if it’s done at maximum cost to society¨


    Of course, in a few years time when the cost of the reforms is totted-up, there will be change. But the election is in 2015.

  3. 3 Maureen Gannon 23/03/2014 at 3:10 pm

    We are not all taken in by a carrot I don’t know of any of my friends colleagues who has changed their minds .
    Anyway I am off to celebrate tomorrow having reached the age of 80 the government has given me a rise of , hold it right there sit down cos this takes some believing YESYES YES I am going to be 25p better off a week , mind you I have yet to learn that it is no longer categorised as a pension , evidently after paying in NA since I was 17 until I was 69 the goalposts have been moved and I am now on benifits so I humbly thank all you taxpayers for keeping me.

  4. 4 John 23/03/2014 at 9:45 pm

    Quite right. You are now in the largest category of benefit claimants.
    Second to those claiming working benefits.
    The unemployed come near the bottom of the list @ 2.6% of total benefit cost, just above widows and others @ 0.4% of the bill!

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