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The World Today

Well, I’m up; I might as well round up some of the more interesting new stories.

Bad news for the government; not only do YouGov’s voting intentions poll show that Labour is catching up:

But it shows how things have changed since May (from the BBC election results page):

Given that Lib Dem popularity has halved, I have a feeling we’re not going to get three-party politics any time soon.  I’m thinking (as I did at the time) that they should have stayed away from alliances, instead working with the Big Two on a bill-by-bill basis.  Locking in with the Tories has really tied them into being part of the Tories cuts – which the Orange Bookers may support, but clearly isn’t what the public wanted.

Not only that, but the public seems to be rejecting the Tories’ claimed need to cut and cut hard. (Quotes are from the report, quoted on the Fabian Society blog Next Left; I don’t have a Times subscription and haven’t spotted anyone else quoting it at this time).

Populus asked the public to identify which of three deficit reduction plans they agree with most, without identifying which party or group was advocating each position. Over a third of voters, 37 per cent, say they prefer Labour’s position to halve the deficit by the next election and deal with it over ten years.

The same number [37 per cent] say that protecting the vulnerable and keeping unemployment as low as possible should be bigger priorities than reducing the budget deficit.

Only one in five voters, 22 per cent, agree with the coalition plan to deal with the deficit by the next general election, in five years’ time.

There’s more; according to the blog, 31% of Tory voters prefer their party’s deficit-cutting plans (51% of Tories prefer Labour’s plans!), while only 23% of Lib Dems support the coalition’s plans.  It’s also interesting to see that the policy of blaming Labour at every opportunity isn’t taking hold (as it shouldn’t):

In a second blow, the coalition is yet to win the argument that the spending cuts are the result of “Labour’s deficit legacy”.  Asked who is responsible for Britain’s debt problems, voters name UK and US banks, the global recession and the Bank of England as more to blame for the current economic situation than the previous government.

EDIT: The Tory Diary has a little more, although I have to question the idea that “the numbers below show an overall high level of satisfaction with Coalition performance, so far”, when almost every poll shown has approval on specific issues falling by between 2% to 10%.

The Irish Minister for Science is releasing a book aiming to scotch the ‘myth’ of evolution (I’m not linking to the site, it plays an irritatingly smug tune). I’m sure the self-proclaimed ‘philosopher’, equal to Abraham Lincoln (I know little of Lincoln’s achievements, but this guy is clearly no Lincoln) and ex-PR company owner will manage to overturn over a hundred years of research by people smarter than him.  Or not.

The phone tapping saga continues (well, in the Guardian, anyway.  There’s none so blind, eh?)

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