Archive for February, 2012

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Marf…on the day James Murdoch stepped aside

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

  • If you would like to own a Marf original or a print please contact her at marfcartoons@btinternet.com They make great presents


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    Does Ed need more than the NHS to attack Dave with?

    Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

    Is he becoming a one club golfer?

    For the fourth successive PMQs Ed Miliband focused his attacks on the government’s stance on the NHS bill and, on balance, he got the better of Dave again. This is a tricky one for the Tories and I thought that although Dave was better prepared today Miliband just edged it.

    But the opposition leader, surely, has got to find something else to go on. At some stage, perhaps not too far off, the bill will be off the agenda and Ed will have to get back to what is by far the biggest issue – the economy.

    There’s a sense now that choosing the NHS bill every Wednesday is exposing Labour’s ongoing weaknesses on the subject. Ed knows that if he moves to the economy Cameron will produce a plethora of facts and figures putting the blame on Labour.

    @MikeSmithsonOGH



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    LAB moves to six point lead with Ipsos-MORI

    Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

    Is this the end of Dave’s “Veto Bounce”

    The February political monitor from MORI is out and LAB moves to a six point lead over the Tories with the LDs unchanged. In January the two parties were level with the blues still getting the benefit of the so-called “Veto Bounce”.

    All three main party leaders recorded negative satisfaction ratings, with more voters saying they were unhappy with the job they were doing than satisfied.

    Cameron’s personal rating was down 10 points since last month on minus 11, with 40% saying they were pleased with the job he was doing as PM, compared with 51% who were not. Nick Clegg scored minus 32 and Miliband minus 25.

    For the first time since he became leader in 2010, the monthly Political Monitor found more Labour supporters dissatisfied (48%) than satisfied (44%) with Mr Miliband’s performance.

    @MikeSmithsonOGH



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    Is Mitt just a little closer to the White House?

    Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

    UPDATED

    NBC has now called Michigan for Romney – all the networks called Arizona for Romney almost as soon as polls closed.

    @MikeSmithsonOGH



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    Could tonight trigger the entry of another contender?

    Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

    It’s a massive night in the Republican party’s process to select a candidate to take on Barack Obama in November.

    This is what GOP strategist Matthew Dowd told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos today:

    “If Rick Santorum wins tonight it’s the equivalent of a 9.0 on a Richter scale. I mean it is going to shake Washington, it’s going to shake Republican establishment it’s just going to shake things to their very core. And I think what you’re going to see are the conversations that have been going on behind quiet doors saying we need another candidate in this race”.

    This is what my fellow Telegraph writer and author of a biography on Pat Buchanan, Tim Stanley, wrote today:-

    Mitt Romney is not the independent-attracting, super electable candidate that a victory in Michigan would suggest he is. He’s just Rick Santorum without any of the conviction or personality.

    Ouch! If Romney falls short in Michigan the knives could be out.

    @MikeSmithsonOGH



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    What’s Rebekah’s police horse going to do to the story?

    Tuesday, February 28th, 2012


    Telegraph



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    Michigan: The pendulum swings back to Santorum

    Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

    UPDATED

    Will Democrat “cross-overs” give him the edge?

    It’s election day in Michigan and the final poll from Public Policy Polling, based on telephone surveys last night, has reported a sharp move back to Santorum in the crucial primary.

    This is Romney’s home state and is a “must-win”. On Sunday night PPP had had him with a 2% lead. Last night the firm has found Santorum to be 5% ahead.

    It’s now Santorum 39%, Romney 34%, Paul 15%, Gingrich 10%. Amongst those who have not yet voted Santorum is on 41% to Romney on 31%. The big hope for Romney is that he’s got enough early votes in the bag. Amongst this group he is leading by 56 to 29 but early voters only represent about 18% of those likely to turn out.

    This move back to the former Pennsylvania Senator fits with the trend from other polling over the past 24 hours.

    A complicating factor which could be helping Santorum is that Michigan does not restrict its primaries to registered supporters and there’a a tradition in the state of quite heavy cross-over voting.

    In this latest poll Romney leads with actual Republican voters, 43-38. But Santorum’s up 47-10 with Democratic voters.

    In surveys at the 1996 Republican primary it was estimated that 16% of voters were Democrats and 17% independents. Four years later in 2000 it was said that John McCain won the primary there with the help of Democrats and Independents;

    Whatever this is proving to be the pivotal primary of the campaign.

    @MikeSmithsonOGH



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    LAB moves to three point lead in ComRes phone poll

    Monday, February 27th, 2012

    Most people say “Tax the rich” to help poor

    A majority of people want George Osborne to raise taxes for the rich in next month’s Budget in order to take more low paid workers out of tax, according to a ComRes survey for The Independent. 60% of those sampled support the LDs main budget demand while 34% disagree.

    I am wary of polling like this – generally speaking people support tax increases that don’t affect them but oppose those that do.

    The main VI numbers when the hypothetical “if there was a general election tomorrow” question was put has LAB up 2 to 40 with CON still at 36% and the LDs down one at 13%.

    The poll also suggests public support for demands by Tory MPs for any Budget tax cuts to be aimed at business rather than individuals in order to get the economy moving. 58% of people back this approach while 32% disagree.

    There is public scepticism about Labour’s call for tax cuts even if that means higher than planned borrowing in the short term.

    By a margin of 59% to 31%, people believe the Chancellor should use any spare money to reduce the government deficit rather than spend it on tax cuts.

    According to ComRes, voters back Mr Osborne’s plans to end child benefit to families with at least one higher rate taxpayer from next January. It is supported by 61% and opposed by 33%.

    @MikeSmithsonOGH