Uxbridge & Ruislip South

2015 Result:
Conservative: 22511 (50.4%)
Labour: 11816 (26.4%)
Lib Dem: 2215 (5%)
Green: 1414 (3.2%)
UKIP: 6346 (14.2%)
TUSC: 180 (0.4%)
Loony: 72 (0.2%)
Independent: 14 (0%)
Others: 120 (0.3%)
MAJORITY: 10695 (23.9%)

Category: Very safe Conservative seat

Geography: Greater London. Part of Hillingdon council area.

Main population centres: Uxbridge, Hillingdon, Cowley, Yiewsley, South Ruislip.

Profile: A suburban seat on the fringe of west London, this covers Uxbridge, Hillingdon, Cowley and Yiewsley and then, north of Northolt Aerodrome which runs down the middle of the seat, South Ruislip.This is middle-of-the-road suburbia, hidden away at the end at the far end of the Metropolitan line.

Politics: A relatively safe Conservative seat, it has seen held by the Conservatives since 1970 but not always by large majorities. In 1997 this became the first by-election hold for the Conservatives for 18 years when John Randall was returned following the death of Michael Shersby, the first time the Tories had held a seat at a by-election since William Hague held Richmond in 1989. Since 2015 it has been the new seat of Boris Johnson, elected MP while still serving as London Mayor.


Current MP
BORIS JOHNSON (Conservative) Born 1964, New York, son of former MEP Stanley Johnson. Educated at Eton and Oxford University. Former journalist, author and editor of the Spectator. MP for Henley 2001-2008, Mayor of London since 2008. First elected as MP for Uxbridge & Ruislip South in 2015. Shadow higher education minister 2005-2007. Instantly recognisable by his dishevelled appearance, blond thatch of hair and bumbling public-schoolboy mannerisms, Boris Johnson has become a media celebrity through appearances on Have I Got News For You and a tendency to make gaffes. His first period as an MP saw a brief shadow ministerial career cut short by denials of an affair that turned out to be true and he resigned from Parliament to become Mayor of London. In 2014 he announced he would seek to return to Parliament with the barely disguised ambition to stand as the next party leader.
Past Results
2010
Con: 21758 (48%)
Lab: 10542 (23%)
LDem: 8995 (20%)
BNP: 1396 (3%)
Oth: 2385 (5%)
MAJ: 11216 (25%)
2005*
Con: 16840 (49%)
Lab: 10669 (31%)
LDem: 4544 (13%)
BNP: 763 (2%)
Oth: 1562 (5%)
MAJ: 6171 (18%)
2001
Con: 15751 (47%)
Lab: 13653 (41%)
LDem: 3426 (10%)
UKIP: 588 (2%)
MAJ: 2098 (6%)
1997
Con: 18095 (44%)
Lab: 17371 (42%)
LDem: 4528 (11%)
Oth: 398 (1%)
MAJ: 724 (2%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005, name changed from Uxbridge

Demographics
2015 Candidates
BORIS JOHNSON (Conservative) Born 1964, New York, son of former MEP Stanley Johnson. Educated at Eton and Oxford University. Journalist and author, former editor of the Spectator. MP for Henley 2001-2008, Mayor of London since 2008. Shadow higher education minister 2005-2007. Instantly recognisable by his dishevelled appearance, blond thatch of hair and bumbling public-schoolboy mannerisms, Boris Johnson has become a media celebrity through appearances on Have I Got News For You and a tendency to make gaffes. His first period as an MP saw a brief shadow ministerial career cut short by denials of an affair that turned out to be true and he resigned from Parliament to become Mayor of London. In 2014 he announced he would seek to return to Parliament with the barely disguised ambition to stand as the next party leader.
CHRIS SUMMERS (Labour) BBC journalist. Ealing councillor since 2010.
MICHAEL COX (Liberal Democrat) Educated at Salesian Missionary College and Brunel University. Chartered accountant. Hillingdon councillor 2002-2010. Contested Ruislip Northwood 2001, 2005, Uxbridge and South Ruislip 2010.
JACK DUFFIN (UKIP) Educated at Stratton Upper School and Brunel University. student.
GRAHAM LEE (Green)
SABRINA MOOSUN (Communities United)
JENNY THOMPSON (Independent)
MICHAEL DOHERTY (Independent)
LORD TOBY JUG (Eccentric Party of GB) Musician. Contested West Ham 1992, 1997, Folkstone and Hythe 2005, Huntingdon 2010.
JANE LAWRENCE (Realists)
JAMES JACKSON (No description) Retired auditor.
GARY HARBORD (TUSC)
HOWLING LAUD HOPE (Loony) Born 1942, Mytchett, real name Alan Hope. Publican. Contested Teignbridge 1983, 1987, 1992, Aldershot 1997, Eddisbury 1999, Kensington and Chelsea 1999, Brent East 2003, Hartlepool 2004, Aldershot 2005, Blaenau Gwent 2006, Sedgefield 2007, Norwich North 2009, Witney 2010, Barnsley Central 2011, Bradford West 2012, Manchester Central 2012, Eastleigh 2013, South Shields 2013, Clacton 2014.
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Comments - 946 Responses on “Uxbridge & Ruislip South”
  1. ‘I’m not sure why he stood down’

    Because he belatedly realised he couldn’t get the necessary number of MPs to make the final cut – think of the way Portillo missed out in 2001

    By opportunistically supporting Brexit – he lost about 30-odd anti-Brexit Tory MPs (mostly Cameroons) who would have otherwise almost certainly backed him for leader

    Ever since that moment he seems to have given up being taken seriously as a politician – coming across as the UK’s answer to Donald Trump

    If May had any metal whatsoever, she’s sack him immediately. Unfortunately she doesn’t

  2. JAMES E – That is a more credible reason, but I don’t think that one poll of 55% May vs 38% Johnson would have stopped him (although he probably would have lost to her).

    TIM JONES – “Because he belatedly realised he couldn’t get the necessary number of MPs to make the final cut – think of the way Portillo missed out in 2001”

    I don’t buy that. Even if Gove took a chunk of his support, the rules of the tory leadership election would definitely give Johnson the chance to battle Gove for that section of the party, and there is no reason he wouldn’t have beaten him. Surely even tory MPs realise that the British public would never elect a drip like Gove as PM?

  3. “I don’t buy that.”

    Tim’s right IMO. Pre-Brexit, Boris’s most loyal support was naturally amongst London MPs, Not just because of his mayoralty, but because of his urbane views and popularity with their constituents. Brexit lost Boris the natural support of the Justine Greenings and Jane Ellisons, which probably add up to 30 or 40 MPs as Tim said.

    Conversely many on the right, especially the older Euroobsessives like Cash, distrust Boris and (quite reasonably) think that he is a phony with no strong views on Europe at all. They have long memories of his vocal support for Clarke against IDS in 2001.

    Boris was thus stuck in a pincer when it became clear Gove and Leadsome would attract significant support from the right. Most of the left would go to May and it was therefore possible, perhaps probable, that he could be eliminated before the final two.

    FWIW I also doubt Boris really wants to be a leader during the nitty gritty of Brexit negotiations. He’d rather it be done and dusted with his predecessor taking all the blame. On Portillo in 2001, Roy Hattersley said “the one vote which left him out of the final two was probably his own”…perhaps not so different to this situation.

  4. I remain unconvinced! If we say that Johnson still wants to be PM, just not when Brexit is happening, then there is even less reason to stand aside just because the odds go against him. Being a gallant loser would cement his place as King Across The Water. Standing more than once doesn’t seem to have stopped other tories having credible shots at the top job (Davis and Clarke didn’t lose because they had alrrady stood-indeed, it raised their profiles, and Davis may yet have one last go, despite being even older than Corbyn). There is no reason to just drop out.

    My money is still on Johnson having been told to step down, by someone with power over him. Perhaps someone who might have suddenly switched to an alternative candidate…..

    That isn’t to say that whoever is pulling Johnson’s strings might one day want his poodle to run again, but Johnson has blown his status as chosen one. His USP as the lovable tory buffoon has now worn off, and people are starting to see him for what he is, so I think it’s unlikely that the string-puller will back that horse again. Don’t be taking those 4/1 odds, folks!

  5. “Johnson has blown his status as chosen one. His USP as the lovable tory buffoon has now worn off, and people are starting to see him for what he is”

    His colleagues in parliament have seen him for what he is for 15-20 years. The vast majority of MPs who pledged their support to Boris did so purely to advance their own careers as it seemed likely he was going to win. That kind of support can collapse in a heartbeat if it seems like you are losing momentum (this is pretty much what happened to Portillo too). Boris has few supporters in parliament who aren’t fair weather friends.

    Putting his views on Brexit to one side, I think Boris’s most damaging character flaw is his tendency to go AWOL for days on end at times when it is critical for a leader to be there for the people. His handling of the London Riots in the initial days was abysmal, he was simply invisible. Ditto the days after the Brexit vote which he arguably did more than anyone else to win, yet he vanished for days afterwards. It’s an unfortunate trait he shares with May in fact.

    I went to a Tory dinner not long after Boris had first become an MP in 2001 and he was the after dinner speaker. His speech basically consisted of reading through the job adverts in the Guardian for “Black One-Legged Lesbian Race Outreach Co-ordinators” etc etc, for cheap laughs. Until he read out a job advert relating to child safety in education….instead of guffaws of laughter there was an awkward David Brent moment when one of the Tory ladies told him that her child had died on a school trip and that actually such a job was necessary and should not be the subject of cheap jokes.

    He looked like he wanted the ground to swallow him up and I’ve never forgotten it. I don’t think Boris will ever be party leader, when push comes to shove.

  6. I think that’s a pretty spot-on analysis, Hemmy.

    Boris won’t be leader but he will continue to remain very influential. When it gets to the final two, his endorsement will carry votes.

  7. “Until he read out a job advert relating to child safety in education….He looked like he wanted the ground to swallow him up and I’ve never forgotten it”

    LOL how I wish I could have been there, thanks for that HH that gave me a good chuckle. As it is I agree totally with your analysis on BoJo, I think his time has long since passed, if he was to become Tory leader (I still don’t rule it out) he’d probably be an utter failure, if the Tories are going to try and re-create the lovable posh Tory character they’d be better off with the Mogg.

  8. Mogg is a far tougher sell, though. Boris was always pretty flexible in his exact views, enabling him to triangulate pretty successfully – which was part of what made him so electorally successful. He fitted in equally well with the hug-a-hoodie puffery of Cameron’s early years as he did with the more divisive tone of the leave campaign. And the clownish act enabled him to maintain a high profile while distracting from the sort of scrutiny that would have nailed down his actual views (if, indeed, he has any beyond the unshakeable belief that he should be Prime Minister) and alienated crucial parts of the voting base.

    Mogg, by contrast, is a highly reactionary palaeoconservative (and is unashamed to be seen as such). People may even admire his commitment to, and willingness to defend, unfashionable political positions, but that does not mean they agree with them or want to vote for him. He’s not a buffoon figure in the same way because you can associate definitive policy positions with him in a way you never could with Boris, whose favourite topic of conversation is himself.

  9. Yes Polltroll is right. Boris is a buffoon, Mogg is a young fogey, and they are not the same thing. These days I think many Tory voters would be loathe to vote for someone with Mogg’s views on abortion, divorce and homosexuality, especially in the home counties, and he would be an electoral disaster.

    Boris will forever be tainted by the pain and broken promises of the first few years of Brexit, even if it eventually turns out OK. His time has passed.

  10. Hang on…..we all seem to be agreeing. That will never do!

    The fact we all agree that Boris has had his day brings up another question for me. Why doesn’t May just sack him? He’s undermining her, and everyone seems to know he is unsuitable for office. If his star has now gone out, there isn’t even the excuse of “keep your friends close and your enemies closer”. Come on, Theresa…..sack him!

    Unless, of course, she’s sleeping with him.

  11. I should clarify I too think Mogg would be a failure its just I can at least see where his admirers are coming from (however daft it is) BoJo though is just a spent force.

    Eco
    “Why doesn’t May just sack him?”
    I’d have thought that was obvious…its cos that’s exactly what BoJo wants at this point. Not being a true Brexiter he can see its going to be a calamity and he can also see how all his paths to Downing street have closed at present. His utopian Brexit manifesto was an attempt to rekindle the flame that won Leave the referendum while getting him sacked for undermining May which would simultaneously allow him to absolve himself of blame for the govs handling of Brexit and then rise from May’s ashes as a hard Brexit martyr committed to salvaging the Brexit process that the “Remain dominated” government of May and Hammond sough to ruin.

    Obviously this whole act blows up in everyone’s face the moment he actually does become PM but who cares its succeeded in its aims at that point.

  12. More Brexit doom mongering…just get over it, guys!

  13. Bless. The truth hurts and all that.

  14. Boris Johnson is tonight facing calls to be sacked for using government property for the launch of Daniel Hannan’s new think tank, the ‘Institute for Free Trade’.

    I can’t help wondering if this isn’t all deliberate on his part- he may well be only to happy to further his leadership ambitions from outside the cabinet.

  15. James
    See the point I made up thread, I’m increasingly convinced BoJo is desperate to get the sack.

  16. faces calls to resign…from 3 LD & Labour Remainian MPs.

    So no story really.

    In fact the event was advertised by Dan Hannan on the BBC Daily Politics hours beforehand and as Liam Fox was there too (who doesn’t get on with BJ), it was hardly a leadership challenge. Well if it was, it certainly wasn’t for Boris.

    As HH explained upthread, Boris really doesn’t have much support amongst Tory MPs these days. Indeed as one was quoted as saying in March, “his two chums in the House are wealthy Wets who also like shagging. He’s no true believer any more than DC was in anything.”

  17. “I’m increasingly convinced BoJo is desperate to get the sack.”

    I don’t understand this theory. Why does he have to get May to sack him? Why can’t he just resign?

  18. He may well do. If TM doesn’t sack him she looks weak.

  19. Polltroll
    “I don’t understand this theory. Why does he have to get May to sack him? Why can’t he just resign?”

    Three main reasons, firstly cos resigning makes him look like a coward, he essentially delivered the Leave vote and presenting the image that he can’t see it through is damaging to his leadership credentials. Getting sacked though he’s able to wash his hands of the issue and make it seem like he had no choice in the matter.

    Second and in relation to the first point by getting sacked he’s able to run with the idea that it was his dismissal that derailed Brexit, that he could, and will once leader (so the theory goes) deliver a better Brexit and the reason that the current Brexit is going downhill is cos he’s not there to help negotiate it. That line has much less potency if he left on his own volition in which case he can be blamed in part.

    And finally getting sacked makes him a martyr and who doesn’t love a martyr.

  20. Yes, agree with that.

    If he quits and launches a leadership challenge it would be easy to accuse him of promoting disunity… whereas if she fires him he can feel justified in launching a challenge, saying that she isn’t a believer in Brexit and that he can do a better job…

    The electorate won’t notice this…

  21. RIVERS10 & LUKE SENIOR-

    This is a very nice, neat theory, but I’m still struggling with it. It effectively means that Johnson is trapped in a job he doesn’t want, and that May’s punishment tarnishes her own premiership even more by keeping an incompetent psychopath in one of the big 3 posts. Surely even the Tory party isn’t that dysfunctional?

    Also, if he knows that’s the case, then why not just croticise May a little bit more each week until she has to sack him? There is more than enough material for him to go on!

  22. Unless, of course, he’s sleeping with her….

  23. She’s too weak to sack anybody, both in terms of character and her political position.

    Osborne was painfully discredited and hated by the party anyway so she was on solid ground. Boris will retain popularity with enough activists and also the public, so as she can’t…

    She won’t sack Hammond, who is nearly as unpopular as Osborne in the party.

  24. Apologies if some of this crops up twice – I am in moderation over part of it, but I think that’s just because I did links to The Guardian!

    Boris Johnson seems to be providing a drip-drip of stories which say “sack me”. The articles in The S*n, then his call to increase public sector pay by cutting further jobs, then his embarrassing recital of “The road To Mandalay (those were the links from The Guardian), and now he seems to be saying “once we’ve cleared away the bodies, we could turn Libya could be a big beach and a golf course”.

    This really does start to look like it supports the theory that he would like to be pushed, rather than jump, but it still hasn’t worked.

    Looking forward to his next attempt!

  25. It could be seen that way, but I think depending on what public sector workers were pushed, there may be a significant level of public support for it.

    Some of the jobs like equality & diversity officers, especially in the NHS, when you see a job advertised in the north west for £50k… for contributing what, exactly? Of quantifiable benefit to patients…

    If we got rid of those people and spread the £ across nurses and other clinicians… and cut back on management where possible and distributed the money in the same way, I doubt many people would quibble, other than those given the red card.

    I’m yet to look too much at the Libya comments, I’ll reserve judgement on that until I’ve listened or read a transcript. Owen Jones and other hyenas on twitter I take with a pinch of salt.

  26. Eco: Bowdlerising “The Sun” really is the most pathetic virtue signal. Is it just a Merseyside thing?

    More seriously on Boris, I’m beginning to come round to he theory that he is looking for the sack. Either that or he’s trying to destabilise May by demonstrating that she’s too weak to sack him. Though the Burma thing – I don’t think that one was deliberate – it was a “caught on camera” moment. That was just Boris’s real buffoon showing underneath the carefully constructed veneer of buffoon.

  27. I don’t think writing “The S*n” rather than “The Sun” is bowdlerising or virtue signalling, it’s making the point that, to quite a lot of people, the name of that “newspaper” (and yes, snipe if you want to about me qualifying what that rag actually is) is akin to a swear word.

    I’m fine with that, it’s quite amusing. More power to your elbow, EcoWirral.

  28. It is virtue signalling – it serves no purpose except to broadcast to the world “look at how great I am, I hate the right sort of people”. Now, wishing to tell the world about the noble causes you support is one thing – personally it’s something I am reluctant to do, but I accept that promoting one’s own good deeds is good for society as it encourages others to do likewise. It is a foolish, and very British, failing, to fail to do so on account of one’s own modesty. But getting all high and mighty about hating people who disagree with you – which is demonstrably the worst way to bring those people round to your way of thinking – what’s the benefit beyond the ego boost you get from like-minded people agreeing with you?

    Maybe I’m getting too worked up about a single asterisk…

  29. Maybe you need to stop virtue signalling about your own high-mindedness?

  30. POLLTROLL – You are the one who is virtue signalling. You are criticising me for doing something (in a light hearted way, as a matter of fact) that you consider to be me somehow broadcasting how virtuous I am by simply expressing my distaste for a certain “newspaper” (see….I’ve done it again!).

    You, on the other hand, are signalling your virtues over me, on the basis that you wouldn’t ever stoop as low as to use a casual slight against that publication. So I am criticising an organisation I don’t like, whilst you are signalling your supposed superiority over me personally for espousing such a thought. That is what virtue signalling is, it isn’t someone expressing their distaste for (I’m going to do it again) Tbe S*n. I don’t tend to use the term virtue signalling, as I find most people who do are being hypocritical, as in your case. I’d much prefer to tell someone that they were perhaps being too critical or unnecessary, arguing my point from a more dispassionate starting place.

    On the “Merseyside” thing; I am not actually scouse at all, despite my misleading handle, but I know some who would take serious issue with you over this! I think many people have a problem with that publication (and others) from many places around the country.

  31. DAVID WHITEHOUSE – Thanks very much. You’ve made much of my point, and more succinctly.

  32. On Johnson, POLLTROLL may be right in his assumption that the “Road To Mandalay” wasn’t deliberate. I was most amused that he had to be told off by the UK ambassador, though!

    Any thoughts on Johnson’s reluctance to criticise Spain’s reaction to the Catalonia situation? I can see why Brexit and our difficult current relationship with Spain might make him want to just ignore the situation, but self-determination forindependence from Spain does ring an awful lot of the bells the govt has rung about Gibraltar…..

  33. I’m going to be honest – there are things that, if anyone else said them I wouldn’t bat an eyelid, but for some reason there is somehing about Eco that really winds me up and I jump down his throat. (And it’s not a left-right thing – I get on fine with Rivers or Barnaby, for example.) Not sure what it is but I’ll try and stamp it out. And I’m sure I’ve slagged off the Sun myself plenty of times around here – I slag off almost everyone and everything, including myself – so what I said wasn’t even really what I believed. It’s a moronic impulse I have with some people (on UKPR, and in the media, though not in real life) where, as soon they express an opinion, I immediately think the opposite thought. That is stupid, reactionary behaviour and I should stamp it out.

  34. “but self-determination for independence from Spain does ring an awful lot of the bells the govt has rung about Gibraltar…..”.

    The two situations would only be the same if polling indicated the type of overwhelming support in Catalonia for secession from Spain that exists in Gibraltar for maintaining links with the UK. At the moment (although obviously this could change) the polling in Catalonia is finely balanced.

  35. As for Boris/May’s silence on Spain – well they should have spoken out and defended the people of Catalonia against what was nothing more than state-sponsored police brutality. What the correct thing to so from a diplomatic persepctive – well, that’s rather harder to work out. I don’t know much about the politics of Spain but I would hope after Sunday’s events that Mariano Rajoy would be a dead man walking – and so maybe cosying up to his administration is a bit of a waste of time.

  36. I was about to defend EcoWirral – as it has been in common usage in Liverpool for around a decade and I therefore understand and have some sympathy as many will have friends or family affected by the tragedy and aftermath – until he said he isn’t actually Scouse!

    That therefore is proof positive of exactly what virtue signalling is (taking offence on behalf of others to appear righteous).

    No problem with that per se, as in fact most who take offence on behalf of working class people tend to be middle class MPs and activists from other areas.

    As EcoWirral may know, the self-proclaimed “Liverpool Love Activists” broke into a city centre listed building [former Bank of England building no less], vandalised it, stole some items and had to be evicted. When they were prosecuted and appeared in Court it materialised they were neither homeless nor from Liverpool(!) Indeed one lived in a rather large house on the Wirral.

    Indeed many of the crusty types in squats in commercial buildings are incredibly posh – just watch any episode of the Ch5 docu where High Court Enforcement Officers evict them.

  37. LANCS OBSERVER – So I can’t be offended by The S*n unless I’m scouse? And then you seem to connect my crime of not being scouse to squatters whom you would have been oh-so-understanding-of had they been…..scouse. Have a word with yourself, man!

    POLLTROLL – I accept your apology, and hope I have been of some assistance to you in helping you avoid being hypocritical in future. I have noticed your over-reaction to me on occasions, but I’m quite thick-skinned!

    “Virtue Signalling” is an irritating, misused phrase (as demonstrated once more by LANCS O), and I wish people just wouldn’t bother. I can imagine circumstances where it might be ok (perhaps it would be more appropriate for people who, say, beat their chests about their charity work, if they are particularly uncharitable people), but those never seem to be the instances it is used. It sprang to my mind, with a chuckle, when I heard that Lewis Hamilton was going vegan to…..wait for it….reduce his carbon footprint.

  38. It is more commonly used, of course, as a get-out-of-jail free card by people who know they have lost a moral argument. So yes, I think I’d only ever use it in response to someone who is abusing the phrase to lambast someone else.

  39. The Lewis Hamilton thing is just hypocrisy. That’s a different kettle of fish to virtue signalling.

  40. POLLTROLL – without wanting to labour the point, I don’t think either “virtue signalling” or “hypocrisy” fit the Lewis Hamilton thing well. It isn’t hypocrisy to make a gesture, however inadequate, but Hamilton’s use of his new virtue is a bit galling.

    KIERAN W – “The two situations would only be the same if polling indicated the type of overwhelming support in Catalonia for secession from Spain that exists in Gibraltar for maintaining links with the UK. At the moment (although obviously this could change) the polling in Catalonia is finely balanced”

    Perhaps Johnson should take that more flexible & pragmatic approach to democracy, when it came to a certain badly-informed 52-48 poll result in June 2016?

  41. False equivalence again. An example of 52-48 vote in a referendum that both sides accepted as legally valid and fully participated in is not remotely similar to the case of a vote where neither of those criteria were satisfied. Distinguishing between those two types of situation is not taking a “flexible approach” to democracy.

    Furthermore, just maybe the best course of action would be for Johnson to say nothing. The case of Catalonia after all has nothing to do with him, or any other UK politician.

  42. KEIRAN W – You are misrepresenting what I said. Also, whilst the Catalan vote is flawed for the reasons you outline, one might argue that 90% of a 43% turnout might be more convincing than 52% of 75% (similar levels of the elctorate voted for the winning side) Also, Catalonian independence is a much clearer question than was Brexit, and presumably it didn’t have the same amount of money pumped into two separate campaigns which contained extremely questionnable campaigns.

  43. I’m not arguing that Johnson should suggest Catalonia declares independence. But the fact is that a higher proportion of Catalans than UK Brexiters, actually defied the law and risked state violence to make vote for independence. That suggests to me that Spain has acted wrongly (certainly in their actions on polling day, and probably in denying a poll in the first place) and a responsible foreign secretary would at least make his concerns known. Compare that to the adherence to a pretty shoddy Brexit election, which should always have been put into law with an appropriate barrier of, say, a minimum 60% and 40% of electorate, and I think the point is a reasonable one.

  44. You’re pretty transparent Ecowirral. You’re trying to legitimise the Catalan “referendum” because you like the result, while de-legitimising the Brexit one because you don’t. In the process you’re tying yourself in knots.

    It’s not legitimate to compare the result of a referendum in which both sides participated with one where only one did. Only one side put their case in the Catalan vote.

    It wasn’t any more clear what a pro-independence vote in Catalonia would mean than it was precisely what a pro-Brexit vote would mean in the UK’s referendum. Would a pro-independence vote in an illegal referendum ultimately result in UDI, or some sort of negotiated settlement between Catalonia and Madrid involving greater autonomy? What would be the position re an independent Catalonia’s membership of the EU?

    Also if the Brexit referendum should have included a 60-40 threshold for the status quo to be overturned then surely any vote on Catalan independence should include the same provision?

  45. KEIRAN W – I fully agree that the Catalan vote wasn’t legitimate, and that’s why I don’t think UK politicians should be calling for Catalan independence at this stage. For what it’s worth, I’m actually pretty neutral on whether Catalonia becomes independent or not.

    Yes, I don’t like the Brexit result, and yes, I am comparing the two because I think there is an increasingly strong argument that the Brexit victory wasn’t decisive or clear enough to simply accept that it should happen. And the comparison is good; there are many issues with both votes, but it seems that the support for each is at least comparable.

    The point I’m making is what should our govt be saying now, and it certainly should be applying pressure on Spain to find a decent and humane resolution. And yes, I think that Johnson’s respect of democracy only applies when the result suits his political ambitions.

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