Monday, 18 May 2009

Labour only 11 points behind with ICM

CON  39 (-1)LAB  28 (-2)LD 20 (+1)

The May survey by ICM for the Guardian is just out and the big surprise is that unlike other recent surveys from other pollsters there total for others has only gone up by one percent.

This is almost certainly due to the fact that ICM's voting intention question is different from the other firms and talks specifically of what might happen in the area where polling respondents actually live.

What is interesting is that there does not seem to have been an EU election effect nor has there been much damage from the MP expenses exposes. 

The Tories might be a tad nervous that that the gap over Labour is only just above the point where they can be sure of a majority. But the papers note:
"More than two-thirds of those surveyed, 69%, say the prime minister has handled the controversy badly, including half of all Labour voters. But 55% of voters credit the Conservative leader with handling it well. Opinion on Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, is evenly split: 37% say he has handled it well and 39% badly."

I'm expecting the Ipsos-MORI poll for May tomorrow.


Anonymous said...


jsfl said...

Main site is down again.

On the poll the findings don't surprise me although the Labour figure seems high (ICM's weighting method perhaps).

Brown's atrocious handling of this affair is weak, cowardly and I suspect devious.

He should go and go now before he does anymore damage to the country.

We need a General Election.

James Burdett said...

I am somewhat sceptical about this poll, it just doesn't chime.

Anonymous said...

Come on!
Does anyone really believe that there have been no discernible poll movements since ICM's last one?

Load of tosh.


Anonymous said...

What does anyone think of the 2/1 on the speaker leaving in 2009? Is this not sensational value? I've already put £150, am tempted to go for more unless someone can point out a convincing reason why not?

Morris Dancer said...

It overstates Labour. But otherwise it's very similar to the others.

If Brown blocks the Speaker's axing amid political and public fury he'll sink below the 20pt level.

Ted said...

Gill Hornby on Telegraph site suggest that Neil Hamilton could stand as a MIWS against some of the troughers exposed. Got me thinking, perhaps rather than Neil that Christine H should say she will stand as a WIWS against say Geoff Hoon or Alistair Darling.

Give her much needed publicity and would be a black spot on whoever she chose to stand against.

Anonymous said...

anonymous 19:16 i got on at 5/1 - cheers cave dude!

Anonymous said...

when was it 5/1? just curious like

Anonymous said...

anon 19.16
You'll lose.
Gordon is having Martin stuffed and permanently mounted in the Speaker's chair as a celebration of democracy.

He'll be there for ever.


James Burdett said...

The poll shares add up to 101%, also if you look at the gains and losses you have -2 and -1 for Lab and Con and +1 and +3 for LD and others which nets out to +1 and would explain the 101%

Morris Dancer said...

Not if Joanna Lumley denounces the Speaker. Then his departure is guaranteed.

Ayo Gurkhali!

jsfl said...

Incidentally the Fed Ex of the Libdems were to debate the Rennard scandal at 5.30pm (according to Guido). Any news on it yet?

ChristinaD said...

Heard on C4 news that the government would not give time to this no confidence motion, for the same reason that Michael Martin gave in the HoC's today!

Another day, another poll in the eye of the storm.

RodCrosby said...

Crosby ICM probabilistic

Con 324
Lab 229
LD 57
SNP 12
PC 5
Oth 5
NI 13

Con maj 3, 0.2% swingback to Hung Parliament

Anonymous said...

Bad luck,chaps.Here's to a speedy reunion.
This is a great time to ignore polls.
Let me expand.I think this is a great time to bet AGAINST the thrust of the most recent poll.

People are going barmy out there and I don't just mean Jon Snow.

If things get desperate in the future I am happy to offer the facilities of my site.


HurstLlama said...

Does the Conservative Party have an opposition debate scheduled for this week? If so will they change their motion to allow the Confidence Debate on the Speaker?

RodCrosby said...

"Dozens" of MPs with phantom mortgages...

jsfl said...

Speccie CH have got their own replacement Speaker Poll going on:


Anonymous said...

From Paul Waugh:

"In his speech, Cameron reminded Conservative Associations that there were three "simple" ways to trigger a reselection: through a decision by the local party chairman, through 10 per cent of a local party's membership demanding one, and through the national party's board demanding one."

Only 10%. That's good news.


Anonymous said...

What's happened to the mian site?!

Jon C said...


PLP Meeting

Brown - self-regulation over terms and conditions over. Mortgage Interest Relief to be capped. About time too!

Nick Brown - Chief Whip targetted by Telegraph

ChristinaD said...

I thought that Lord Foulkes was a complete disgrace tonight on C4.

Morris Dancer said...

ChristinaD, that's a silly comment. Foulkes is a disgrace wherever he happens to be.

ChristinaD said...

Morris Dancer, believe me, I have to watch most weeks pontificating on Scottish Newsnight. I just thought that his BS meter reached new and unseen heights tonight on C4.

When will he and Stephen Pound get together to form a double act? They could spin themselves into orbit with all that hot air.

James Burdett said...

Nick Brown targetted by Telegraph. That's going to look bad if he has to suspend himself!

Anonymous said...

Gordo caps mortgages, but are cleaners still allowed. ;)
Tim doesnt seem to know about this site. Its blissful.

ken said...

The polls are going to be very volatile. If you poll a constituent with a troughing MP, they are not going to be happy. Therefore, any poll that asks in Labour trougher territory will show Labour doing worse (and ditto Conservative). The margin of error is going to be much higher than normal. However, Labour are going to be doing much worse because the negative incumbency effect is much higher.

I am appalled by the attitude of Martin and his Labour supporters. FFS, in constitutional terms, the Speaker is sacrosanct, BUT in a situation like this, he should damn well resign. He actually had MPs shouting over him.

I'm appalled by the attitude of CAs - Mackay, Hogg and Moran. WTF? I hope they all lose.

As for this Chapman guy, what an unbelievable thieving POS. Anyone found to have done something like this should also be automaticaly deselected.

jsfl said...

James Burdett:

Brown has tried to spike any story already:

HereI wonder what the Telegraph has got to trump that.

Anonymous said...


I can't find video of the Speaker's statement and the subsequent debate anywhere.

Ted said...

Gordon is very upset that he had to agree to stop claiming ACA himself so is having to buy his own light bulbs & Sky subscriptions and pay for the cleaner (the latter is his view an unnecessary expense), meanwhile Cameron has suffered little financial penalty, which Gordon thinks is unfair.

Ave it 09 said...

Ave it!

Morris Dancer said...

Last week we had a brilliantly savage QT. Reminded me of the Australian Olympics when the gymnasts were being marked dodgily and the crowd began to act like it was the Colosseum.

This week we might have an inquisition for the government representative about why the PM won't allow a vote on the Speaker.

Could Brown actually find a way to make that happen? It could be his piece de resistance in a history of awful decisions.

Anonymous said...

Under any new expenses plans many MPs will have what they will see as a pay cut.

Together with the:
> very large number of Labour seats which are marginal
> very large number of Labour troughers
> very large prospect of being in opposition

I predict we will see dozens of incumbent Labour MPs voluntarily retire before the election.

jsfl said...


It's here

jsfl said...

Here's a new one in the Telegraph:

Sandra Osborne and her stools - Ayr, Carrick & Cumnock

ChristinaD said...

Now it sounds like the government are not going to give anytime to this no confidence motion, and for the same reason that Michael Martin gave in the HoC's today.

John Redwood makes an interesting point - The Speaker’s Statement" It appeared from the exchanges that the Motion of No Confidence has to be tabled by the government. All the forces of opposition in the House should make clear they want the government to do so.

If the government has any wisdom it will do so for tomorrow. If Labour wishes to retain this Speaker, they can then vote for him and he will have a renewed mandate of sorts. If enough of them now wish to change Speakers, he will go."

Alastair said...

The main site has been out for ages now. Is it down for the count? Looks like there is still some fine tuning to be done despite the recent upgrades.

jsfl said...


I think it is coming back up now as we speak.

Got on but couldn't post

Leave it a few minutes....

Anonymous said...

Main site up again.


antifrank said...

ICM's last two polls have both gone in a substantially different direction from the others. The Tory figure is about the same, but the Labour figure is several points higher than with every other pollster. ICM's methods may be better than their rivals, they may not. The discrepancy is interesting.

James Burdett said...

I can't get into the main site :(

Anonymous said...

Uk polling says this

I expect some of the reason may be ICM’s re-allocation of don’t knows, which in practice tends to help a party down on it’s luck. We won’t know for sure till the tables are out.

Would Mike like to comment

Main site still down for me


Richard Nabavi said...

MTF 20:11

Very good point. I beilve they allocate according to how they voted at the last election.

Possibly a good approach in normal times, but not in very volatile circumstances.

I guess someone needs to look at the underlying data tables.

Anonymous said...

Jon Snow doorstepping Macavity for interviews, no comments, hiding, running away.

What on earth is going on ?

Today's scenes were a disgrace on the country. I am utterly disgusted, and now i now Labour will be utterly destroyed by the overwhelming wish for change at the next election.

Its clear after 12 years Brown wont be able to offer change.

What the hell does Brown think he's doing to our country?

They've brought us an economic crisis , now we get a constitutonal crisis. I guess i shouldnt be surprised. Labour folks never resign, do they?

Anonymous said...

Jon Snow doorstepping Macavity for interviews, no comments, hiding, running away.

What on earth is going on ?

Today's scenes were a disgrace on the country. I am utterly disgusted, and now i now Labour will be utterly destroyed by the overwhelming wish for change at the next election.

Its clear after 12 years Brown wont be able to offer change.

What the hell does Brown think he's doing to our country?

They've brought us an economic crisis , now we get a constitutonal crisis. I guess i shouldnt be surprised. Labour folks never resign, do they?

ChristinaD said...

MTF&Richard Nabavi, that is interesting, have we got the figures for others yet? And if so, has the figure remained relatively stable along with the main parties ones?
ICM have the Labour vote holding up much better than the other polls, which have also seen a big spike in voters opting for others.

Anonymous said...

The thing is, from what I understand Labour are having serious problems on the doorstep (no surprise there) (how much are the other parties being affected similarly??) So allocating dont knows might not be accuate. It may be some months before we know for sure, but in this febrile atmosphere Smithson's rule still applies..ordoes it?


Scott P said...

Ffoulkes was tragic. As a very experienced parliamentarian, he must be adept at winning arguments with verbal dexterity, linguistic skill and rhetorical nifty footwork, but when (as tonight) he is reduced to "making sh1t up" as Jon Stewart might say, you know the game is over. "The speaker only went to court to test the limits of the act"..."and monkeys might fly out of my butt"

Morris Dancer said...

Tried checking the QT panel but it doesn't seem to be up.

The incomplete AQ panel is:
Ed Balls, the secretary of state for children, schools and families, shadow business secretary Kenneth Clarke and Caroline Lucas, leader of the Green Party.

Clarke is a colossus compared to that goggle-eyed arsehead and that smarmy republican.

jsfl said...

Nick Brown attempts to Spike Telegraph's Guns

ChristinaD said...

Good move to have an old hand like Ken Clarke in the Tory hot seat to be honest. Bound to be a big focus on expenses and the Speaker.
Interesting to see Ed Balls agreeing to come on to the programme this week.

Anonymous said...

Douglas Carswell is a bad communicator. He did not make his point effectively on C4. The only reason he trod water is because he has the facts on his side.

He could have mentioned that Michael Martin has not voluntarily repaid any expenses despite being a persistent outrageos trougher.

He could have given more examples and detail of Michael Martin obstructing Freedom of Information requests.

He could have asked Foulkes to justify smearing Richard Shephard.

He could have called Foulkes out on the court cases.

His points were either far too technical or patronising. Who cares what an order paper or tabling office is. Jon Snow bitchslapped him for it, quite rightly!

He does not have 'clean hands' on the Speaker issue. His vendetta is well known. He should have waited for Kate Hoey or Norman Baker to table a motion instead.

He is so disappointing compared to his co-author Daniel Hannan. Completely wet and inept.

SallyC said...

ICM does tend to be one of the most stable pollsters.

I suspect the smaller the spiral of silence adjustment and the more fierce the turnout filter, the more movement we see and vis versa.

Plato said...

Still down for me - haven't had it back up for several hours now.

If you haven't seen this yet - very amusing

David Herdson said...

Irrespective of whatever the rules might say, or what Martin or Brown might do (or not do) the Speaker is toast.

The government doesn't have to table the motion (though they would be foolish not to); it could wait for an opposition day debate. That would normally look more partisan but not if it is in response to the government refusing to act in clear accordance with the wishes of parliament.

What we got today was a foretaste of what will happen if Martin tries to hang on. His authority is now non-existant and MPs are happy to talk over him, shout him down and abuse him to his face, in the Chamber. That cannot continue. He cannot use the sanctions normally available to him because it will look like vindictiveness. He has no power, only inertia.

EdP said...

jsfl, from the Nick Brown article -

'These are understood to include questions about claims totalling £87,708 in additional cost allowance on his second home in Newcastle between 2004 and 2008, including £18,800 for food. This also involved regular £400 claims during recess.'

'But Mr Brown hit back saying: “I claim the full amount for subsistence. This has to be seen in the context of my working life.'

No, Mr Brown they can be explained with the simple explanation that you're ripping off the taxpayer. Why, oh why, are these chisellers allowed to claim for food, and get away with it? If anyone tried to justify these expenses outside of the protection of Parliament, HMRC would be pulling their toenails out with pliers. Unbelievable.

I don't think these clowns get it.

Eventually they will, and it not's going to be pleasant. For many it will be too late.

I hope that Nick Browns North Eastern constituents struggling to survive in the current economic climate, turf him out at the next GE. It's the very least that he deserves.

Marcus Wood said...

I think it's not overstating it to say we could be on the verge of a complete collapse of the machinery of Government.

Parliament relies on an element of goodwill and -for want of a better term- gentlemanly sportsmanship to work properly.

However hostile politically the parties usually to agree to co-operate on a whole range of matters including managing the business of running the houses of parliament.

IMHO this working relationship is on the verge of complete breakdown. So many old time Parliamentarians are horrified at the drama playing out over the Speaker vote and they cannot easily cope with the unprecedented events unfolding in front of them with party leaders apparently urging mass deselections and so on.

So unstable have things become that I think there is a growing probability of a sudden, unplanned and spontaneous vote of no confidence in the PM.

Anxious backbenchers want to get to the polls sooner rather - don't want give the plotting b*stards in the constituency time to get rid of them and all that.

And yes, this is 180' the opposite of what I said on Friday but a day is a long time in politics.

jsfl said...


Indeed many of them don't get it. It's a sad reflection that these privileged and cossetted individuals probably haven't spent any real time with real voters in years.

I think the most offensive of all the things they are allowed to claim for is the food because it is such a basic thing that everyone else has to pay for and you don't need anymore food just because you are an MP. To me it's sheer greed to claim the food allowance.

Eddie said...

Is there any indication that Nick Clegg and David Cameron intend to attend the Speaker's cosy little meeting on expenses tomorrow?

Or do they have no choice to attend because it would look bad politically if they didn't?

MichaelK said...

Yes, I think they have to attend. They don't have to agree with what is proposed.

James Burdett said...

I think they will attend. It would look very very bad if they didn't.

ken said...

Marcus Wood

The problem is that the country would do better with a period for reflection and deselections. I dont think that the likes of Hogg, Dorries, Moran, Mackay etc should be allowed to stand. If they do, I hope they all lose, Labour, Liberal Democrat and Conservative alike.

I agree that the parliamentary machinery is breaking down. It is of course totally the fault of this incompetent and corrupt Labour government. That Speaker Martin thinks he can brazen it out when he has clearly lost the respect of the house is just incredible.

Labour have just added to their incompetent vandalism of the British constitutional arrangements. It makes me feel ill. Gordon Brown is just such a totally useless muppet.

Peter from Putney said...

It's an ill wind, etc. At least the collapse of PB's normal website means that that the adverts there aren't gobbling up my dongle's precious monthly allowance of megabytes.

I feel sure that today's events will damage Labour quite badly, not only because Martin refuses to go, but also because Brown appears too weak to do anything about the situation. THEY STILL DON'T GET IT!

If I were a Ladbrokes punter betting on a pre-31.5.09 exit date for Martin, I certainly wouldn't be ripping up my betting slip just yet, something just has to give on this one and soon. As for Hills' 2/1 against Martin going before the year end, I thought Christmas had come early, a stonker of a bet imho

James Burdett said...

The main site seems properly dead. Where do we send flowers?

Anonymous said...

The site is semi back up but I only made one post and if you try to post it goes to an error report

glw said...

If the government is unable of unwilling to sort out MPs expenses, they are surely unfit to tackle the economic problems we face. The national debt is predicted to double and we will have a PSBR around 10% for several years, does anyone still believe that Labour will be willing or able to tackle issue of spending cuts and tax rises necessary to get the books back in order?

If Labour win the next general election this country will be ruined.

antifrank said...

PfP, I had a moment of madness last week and took the Ladbrokes bet. As recently as yesterday I was very happy to be able to partially hedge efficiently. I had no idea that the Speaker was going to act so insanely today.

I have this evening, however, taken up the William Hill bet. This must be one of the best bets around at the moment. His authority is completely shot and it is impossible to imagine him recovering it.

Me said...

Good evening

Me said...

How can I do to post a link?

James Burdett said...

Me you need to include the html tag...

Marcus Wood said...

Ken completely agree that is what we need, not sure it's what we'll get.

I know the Conservative associations won't hang about Anthony Steen meets his this Friday.

If (and it's a big if) one of the miscreants gets deselected this weekend I think a number of Tories will go quite quickly. The pressure to act is huge. At this point in the cycle you have either to unconditionally back your member, or sack him; anything in between hands the seat to your opponents.

And the memory of losing once safe seats is etched large on Associations because we lost so many in 1997 it's proved so damn hard and taken so long to be in with a shout of winning them back. I know this thought weighs very heavy on my neighbours in Totnes.

I hope someone high profile takes the initiative, stands down this weekend and opens the way for some bloodletting - and soon.

Me said...

Let me try!

The Great Poo-Bah is back

Me said...

Thanks James!

RodCrosby said...

This little fact makes you wonder whether there was a conscious plan to put the village idiot in charge of the bank...

Speaker election, 2000
Michael Martin
Proposer: *Peter Snape*
Seconded: *Ann Keen*

Snape and Keen - they sound familiar for some reason....

Me said...

Another one

A question of when, not if

Icarus said...

If MPs ask for an emergency debate the Speaker says yes or no. Why doesn't someone ask for an emergency debate?

Ted said...

Me - the Rentoul piece has a great final line for those who claim STV is part of the answer to clean up politics

"I simply do not believe that Ireland is a model of clean politics from which we should learn."

London said...

That link at the bottom of this page just got me to the main site:

Is Martin going to be able to balls it out?

Might be worth a try?

I've taken the 2/1 on Martin ceasing to be speaker in 2009 too. It just looks and sounds very probable.


MichaelK said...

Could someone who knows answer me this: for the main parties, how quickly can a credible alternative candidate for a seat be rustled up? In the run-up to the election, is there a list (informal maybe) of understudy candidates that will step in if needed (eg if the candidate dies)?

Richard Nabavi said...

Marcus 21:16

I can't imagine that David Cameron will let things drift. I expect that he will provide clear leadership in (a) getting the worst offenders deselected, or encouraging them to resign, and (b) providing a clear pathway for the rest to draw a line under this affair.

Gordon Brown, on the other hand, can be expected to make a huge mess of what is admittedly a tricky situation for all parties.

SallyC said...

Having raised a question about the 'stability' of ICM Anthony said,
'Sally C - I think the reallocation of don’t knows acts as a bit of a dampener in Populus and ICM polls. Imagine a scenario where a party does something horrid, their support takes a knock and lots of their natural supporters start telling pollsters they don’t know how they’d vote in an election anymore. The effect of that would be twice as much in a YouGov poll than it would be in a Populus or ICM poll.

Anonymous said...

Ken, you are so ,so right. it is extremely depressing to think we have come to this. and as you say, michael martin thinks he can just brazen it out and that it will blow over. People are bloody angry. look at QT last week. and it is getting worse. Labour are going to be absolutely annihilated at the next election. It is sad for a party that started out with such noble ideas. However it is Brown - who is as any sane person must recognise, the weakest and most damagingly hopeless PM , unable to give any leadership or direction, dodging the cameras agains today, who is making this worse.

Can you imagine Blair running from reporters like Brown did today? It is unbelievable.

Cameron already looks like the PM -several people have said this to me - and Cameron needs to keep this up, being as visible and active as possible, whilst Brown continues to hide.

What happened to the big interviews promised for yesterday and today. Macavity did it again.

Soon the HOC will be totally paralysed. A motion of no confidence in the government can surely not be far away now.

I can't believe the utter incomptence of the government to give any leadership whatsoever on the issue. i keep thinking this really isnt happening!

i was geniunely surprused to find that one staunch Labourite i spoke to on the weekend now has utter, utter contempt for Brown and the current government. And this person is also a news producer for the BBC. I think that shows you how far this has all sunk.

Said it before and will say it again. The change narrative is there for Cameron. He needs to be ruthless in driving real change in this country and driving out the problems we have. I can see a role for Clegg in this too.

Labour will be sub 20 % before long, in the polls, and utterly destroyed at the election. The working class, poor constituencies are disgusted by Labour MP's profligacy. And Any, any observer of the Labour Mp's, the Labour speaker's defiance, and their actions, over the past 2 weeks, can see where this is going. Its going Canadian for Labour. Total wipeout.

RodCrosby said...

MichaelK. I think Labour in particular has a rule that if a member stands down after the dissolution? the NEC can impose a candidate on a constituency. This rule has been abused in the past to get certain people elected....

Richard Nabavi said...

SallyC 21:27

Yes, I think that's exactly right. ICM is probably a better predictor in the long-term, whereas YouGov seems to amplify short-term movements.

In the current atmosphere, both are useful. ICM reminds us that the final result will probably be less dramatic than you might think on the basis of this week's headlines; YouGove tells us which way the wind is blowing.

SallyC said...

Anon @ 21:27
Cameron needs to offer a very different kind of hope than that he once offered, but he needs to offer the promise of a better way none the less.
I think we need to hear from him and see him, as we do when from a leader when we have a national crisis.
You don't hear the word 'weak' and Cameron in the same breathe anymore - unless you listen to tim.

dr spyn said...

found the main site via balls up link, but it wouldn't allow hyperlinks to work.

Martin's behaviour was pathetic, but perhaps MPs were not sharp enough to nobble him. the interevntions from Prentice, Wimmick, Sheppard and Cormack blew his case apart.

As for Brown, I still wonder why 313 Labour MPs got it wrong. How far he exhibits bi-polar characteristics is open to question, but Dr David Owen's book provides an interesting guide.

SallyC said...

But there is no guarantee that half [or whatever it is] of your 'natural supporters' will vote anyway.

Even if it has worked for ICM in the past, it doesn't mean it will this time. My feeling is that with real disenchantment with their own party and the prospect of a Cameron govt [rather than Howard], that Labour voters will not prove particularly resilient.

ken said...

SallyC. What Cameron needs to do is to tie this to a value for money drive in the public sector. Not a campaign to shaft public sector workers but to grub out waste and incompetence in the public sector. Every councillor knows that his council wastes vast amounts and that we tolerate what can only really be called corruption in so much of the public sector - notably non collection of rents and subletting of council/housing association properties. We could spend far more on the deserving poor and cut taxes if this occurred.

A value for money crusade. It's not just MPs who are careless about taxpayers money

Peter from Putney said...

The main site has now been down for over six hours - sorry Mike but if you're going to maintain your market-leading position, you need to have serious state of the art back up support and I don't mean a totally unconnected blog site with a different provider - not good!

Richard Nabavi said...

Interesting wording from David Cameron:

The leader of the main opposition party, a government in waiting, and his party cannot, I think act unilaterally to remove the Speaker in the House of Commons Note the word 'unilaterally'.

Martin is toast.

Anonymous said...

I find this tabloid layout quite exciting for a change, but I wouldn't want it forever. It certainly makes one appreciate Robert's effort to beautify the main site. No doubt we'll appreciate it all the more when it returns.

SallyC said...

That chimes with me Ken.

I think what he has done so far is to be as tribal as Brown but set himself up with the public rather than his party. Brown will seek to admit fault in his own only where he has no choice. Cameron is setting himself up as at one with the public - even if it costs him. The more successful that is, the less it will cost him.
It will also mean he has his party where he wants them.

Your plan is phase 2.
But I have been trying a new Irish which has gone straight to my head - so what do I know.

I really need to drink more.

RobertD said...

As I said early this morning, getting Mr Speaker out will be slow and messy.

However the options are moving on. By refusing to consider the confidence motion the responsibility moves to Harman and Brown. If they won't find time for debate and vote, and all indication are that this is the road they are on, then that moves the only credible choice onto a motion of no confidence in the government. As I understand from Erskin May such a motion takes precedence over all other business. If the meeting of the party leaders with Mr Speaker on Wednesday were to fail to find any credible solution, which is highly probable, should Cameron "spring" it on the House at the start of Thursday's session?

Even if the government scrapped together the votes to survive it, the opposition would be making a case with the electorate that they were fighting rather than troughing.

MichaelK said...

RodCrosby - thanks.

One thing about replacement candidates: their own financial affairs are going to be raked over in detail by opposing parties and the press. They'll face calls to publish their bank statements etc "so that we can see you're as pure as you say you are".

What I'm getting at is that it may be easy to start deselecting people so as to look proactive and tough, but replacing them may be harder.

Peter from Putney said...

antifrank @21.11
Yep, Martin will be gone and soon, probably by the month end despite today's events. I'm looking forward to seeing the leaders in tomorrow's newspapers and expect them to be horrific for him.
Of course Hills' generous 2/1 odds against a pre year-end departure date also allows for a GE during that period which reduces his chances of survival still further.

Me said...

I'm happy that the main site was down during all day, because this way there weren't many comments while I was away.

Peter from Putney said...

Richard @21.41

I trust you've helped youself to a good dollop of Hills' 2/1 against martin's departure this year.

Ooh yes, yummy!

Unbelievable that Luton South Labour Party have today given Ms Moran their unqualified support - thereby ensuring that this seat is lost for the next 15 years. It will be interesting to see how they dress up her excesses in the party's GE pamphlets.

ChristinaD said...

Anyone got any info on the PLP meeting that Brown addressed tonight?

Anything on Lord Rennard from the Libdems?

Any word on the reaction from Martin and his pals to the political car crash that was his speech?

Me said...


ken said...

SallyC. A new Irish Whiskey? Any good? I've just had a glass of Coulee de Serrant. (A glorious Chenin from the Loire).

I do hope though that Cameron is going to make sure a lot of the troughers go. No new Conservative government would be credible with Mr "I've no main home" Mackay or Mr "I had my moat cleaned" Hogg.

antifrank said...

On News24 just now, Michael Gove all but stated that he had lost confidence in the Speaker. He seemed unable to find a form of words that left him with wriggle room.

Sparky said...

Sir Paul Stephenson:

"if there are matters that are brought to my attention that warrant investigation then rest assured we will investigate.

"We will not back away from our responsibilities."

(Nice echo there of Cameron's emphasis on responsibilities.)

Richard Brunstrom, the chief constable of North Wales, was more forthright. He warned that there would "be blood" because of the magnitude of what MPs had done.
He said that he will look at MPs who he thinks might have broken the law.

He said: "We cannot forgive the temerity of people who steal from the public purse and then have the gall to believe that if they hand it back, that makes it all right.
"They have no respect for the process and these revelations, I believe, warrant criminal investigation."

From The Telegraph.

Me said...


1/3- Speaker Martin's stay of execution2- +++ Source : LibDems “Uneasy” Over Rennard Expenses +++

tawny said...

A Government whip spent thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money renovating a house less than 15 miles from her main home. Dawn Butler claimed for a Jacuzzi-style bath to be fitted in her north London second home while claiming her main home was in east London. She was found to have claimed £2,600 too much in rent, but staff in the fees office allowed her to “dig out” other receipts to cover the over-claim.


I can't imagine how one could possibly claim that a second home in North London was essential when you have a first home in east London.

ChristinaD said...

Thanks ME, that is an interesting article from the Guardian.

"He met Gordon Brown on Sunday night and appears to have been granted a stay of execution. MPs were convinced Martin would have had no choice but toquit if the prime minister or the chief whip, Nick Brown, had privately told him he had lost the confidence of the Commons."

Hain seems to get it, and echoes Redwood's point earlier.
"At tonight'sprivate meeting of Labour MPs, addressed by Brown, Hain warned that the government would be "in a bad place" if it was seen to be preventing the debate."

As Redwood pointed out, " It appeared from the exchanges that the Motion of No Confidence has to be tabled by the government. All the forces of opposition in the House should make clear they want the government to do so.

If the government has any wisdom it will do so for tomorrow. If Labour wishes to retain this Speaker, they can then vote for him and he will have a renewed mandate of sorts. If enough of them now wish to change Speakers, he will go."

Martin is so damaged now, that Brown has to start behaving like a PM. He cannot just brush aside the issue anymore, either renew Martin's mandate as Speaker through a vote backing him, or vote him out.

Me said...

Were your questions answered by the links ChristinaD?

Anonymous said...

So , Brown, Cameron and Clegg see the Speaker tomorrow (after Brown has agreed tactics with Martin in a meeting on Sunday).

Brown will try and get party political advantage over the Speaker's troubles, you can guarantee it.

Cameron and Clegg need to stick together, and turn their guns jointly on the Government over a debate on the issue.

My guess is that they may tell him he has to go in the meeting ; he won't, a debate won't be called, Cameron and Clegg will call for a vote of no condfidence in the government which will fail, and Brown & Martin will be left in place - Martin can pick up his extra £100k, and "Government Wins Vote of no confidence" will be the headline - which Brown and Martin will see as a victory.

Macavity will return...when he thinks the dust has settled. Pathetic.

ken said...


The problem I have with Brown backing Martin is that isnt where we should be going. Labour keep treating the election of the Speaker as though it is a partisan event. It isnt or rather it shouldnt be. The Speaker is meant to be the representative of the HoC as a whole. Getting the backing of the governing party is tantamount to admitting that the Speaker is a partisan hack (which he has been).

The whole point of the sacrosanct status of the Speaker is that he stands above politics. Martin has been a total disgrace as Speaker. Now that things have totally fallen apart, we see the unedifying sight of Labour trying to protect "their" guy and threatening to make sure that the next Speaker will be one of "theirs" too. FFS is there no end to their stupidity?

Me said...

Main site, please!!! Will the main site be fixed today?

scrapheap said...

Stuart Bell really is a total and utter berk. Quite remarkable performances from him in the house and on tut telly.

ChristinaD said...

Ken, I agree with you, and I maybe didn't word my post correctly.
Its in Brown's hands whether this motion is debated tomorrow, or any other day of government time.

At the end of the day, if the Tories or the Libdems have to put it forward on their days, that too will be seen in a partisan light.

Its what happens when it gets to the floor of the house for debate that matters most. If MP's across the house are given a free vote, and as I understand it, it would be a secret ballot. The result would be anything but partisan.
Have I got that right, or is only a secret vote to elect a Speaker?

Iain Dale reported that one of Labour's deputy Whips was out and about drumming up support for Martin today. Brown met Martin yesterday and gave him a stay of execution.

That is the wrong message entirely, and if Brown had the leadership or skills or any political astuteness at all, he would realise how damaging this was to everyone, including himself. Martin is now so weakened, we need that vote to either give him a mandate to carry on, or step down.

Me said...

" Conservative MPs were privately being told that they could sign a motion of no confidence in the Speaker.

• Gordon Brown, once Mr Martin’s staunch defender, effectively withdrew his backing by saying that his future lay in the hands of MPs.

• He was expected to ask Labour’s ruling national executive to become an emergency “star chamber” to summon MPs accused of misconduct and ask local parties to deselect them.

• David Cameron told local parties they should deselect MPs they regarded as unsuitable. “If you think your MP is not right to stand, there’s a simple process for triggering his or her reselection. It only needs 10 per cent of the members or 50 people, whichever is the smaller number,” he said."

Anonymous said...

From Fat Steve.
Don't really understand Blogger comments.
Guardian, Patrick Barkham.
"I've visited six constituencies to see how the expenses scandal is playing. My conclusion: Labour is heading for electoral oblivion"

Oh well. Sh*t happens.

Anonymous said...

So - pbers - how much do you spend on food each month? i reckon for me and my partner, we spend around £150-£250 on food and groceries, and household stuff, each month. our household income is higher than average but we are quite careful with money, we have to be as mortgage costs and living in London is expensive.

Along comes Nick Brown. Chief Whip. very, very nice salary. just on its own. second home allowance. Also, claims £18,000 in 4 years for himself, for food, unreceipted expenses.

I'm just speechless. No receipts. Not one.

These Greedy Pigs are making my blood boil with rage at their sheer arrogance and sense of entitlement.

God - they just dont live in the real world, do they? At all?

Me said...

Forgot the link, sorry!

MPs on all sides tell the Speaker Michael Martin he must go

Me said...

Will Gordon kill him off? Now it's up to the PM to do us a great public service and fire shamed Speaker Martin

Anonymous said...

Guardian Editorial firmly calls for the Speaker to go.

Chris A said...

Me, but what did Gordon do the moment that MArtin had delivered his statement? He scuttled off probably afraid that MPs would round on him.

It's hard to believe that the man can be an even bigger fool than he is at the moment. Do you think that having destroyed our economy he is trying to destroy our democratic institutions as well?

Patrick Cormack likened today to June 1940; more like December 1688 or January 1649 if you ask me.

Anonymous said...

" If you haven't seen this yet - very amusing "

Reminds me of something potentially much worse a few years ago...

Never, ever leave your PC logged on when checking a final draft of a local election leaflet at work.

Someone who shared my office thought it would be a laugh to add the word 'c*ck' in a random place.

It nearly got delivered...

I laugh about it now.

Me said...

ChrisA- I was out during all day but did I miss something? Because the Times and the Mail said that “the leaders of all three main parties gave the green light to their MPs to force him out.” but that’s not what the Guardian seems to be saying “He[Speaker] met Gordon Brown on Sunday night and appears to have been granted a stay of execution.”

Richard Nabavi said...

Extraordinary times!

What I can't quite get my mind around yet (and it's not through lack of practice) is quite what an almighty tactical mess Brown has made, yet again.

As of yesterday, things were bubbling along nicely towards making Martin a cross-party scape-goat (and a well-deserved one). Not the end of the matter, certainly; but Martin going, with dignity, and taking some responsibility along with others, would have started the process of drawing the poison, to the benefit of all three main parties, but most of all to Labour.

Now it looks like the worst of all worlds for Martin and for Brown. An undignified exit for the former, a stupid lost battle for the latter.

Still, I suppose we shouldn't complain. Anything which makes the prospect of a Cameron victory more solid will eventually be good for the country.

Chris A said...

Me it was like Nick P predicted yesterday. A complete and utter farce.

This issue could be sorted once and for all tomorrow. A whole day's debate and a free vote.

Martin wins well, end of story and he can see out his days and retire to the HoL. He loses and we have a new speaker. Either way the government can stage some sort of recovery.

What does Brown do though - he runs away from the decision so there's no vote and the boil isn't lanced. I find it hard to believe that a man who is supposed to be intelligent is acting so completely and utterly like a half-witted moron.

wibbler said...

Go Purnell!

You're a trougher but at least you're getting Brown out.