This week’s YouGov poll for the Times has topline figures of CON 42%(nc), LAB 40%(+1), LDEM 9%(nc). Fieldwork was Monday and Tuesday and changes are from last week. The two point lead is a little lower than YouGov have been showing of late, but nothing outside normal sample variation.

On the other regular YouGov trackers, 44% of people think that Britain was wrong to vote for Brexit, 43% think it was right. Just 22% of people think that the government are doing well at negotiating Bret, 62% think they are doing badly (including a majority of both Leavers and Remainers). While the poll was taken after the government’s announcement of extra funding for the NHS, it has unsurprisingly has little impact on which party people trust more on the issue – 34% of people think Labour would handle the NHS better, 24% think the Conservatives would. Full tabs are here.

While it’s not a particularly new poll (the fieldwork was conducted the weekend before last) there was also a newly published BMG poll yesterday. Topline figures there were CON 38%(-1), LAB 41%(+2), LDEM 11%(+1). Changes are since early May. This is the only poll since mid-April to have shown Labour ahead. Full tabs are here.

UPDATE: A third poll out tonight. Survation have topline figures of CON 41%(nc), LAB 38%(-2), LDEM 7%(-2). Fieldwork was Tuesday to Thursday and changes are from the start of the month. The poll has some more questions on Brexit – full details are here.


1,218 Responses to “Latest YouGov and BMG voting intentions”

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  1. Polltroll,

    “Blair never compromised his beliefs for electoral advantage. He absolutely believed in the rightness of everything he did in office – and yes, that includes Iraq.”

    Utter nonsense, if Blair ever had a principle it was;

    “If It’s Popular It’s Right!”

    Blairism was if anything the opposite of “never compromised his beliefs for electoral advantage!” rather it was;

    “The Belief in Electoral Advantage!”

    Blair went into Iraq because America was and the Tories would.

    Given the almost annihilation of the much stronger Iraqi Army in Desert Storm he expected the same outcome and the same electoral boost as Bush Senior got from Liberating Kuwait and Thatcher from the Falklands.

    That Iraq went wrong because of American hubris was something no one expected even those who didn’t want the war.

    Many warned of disaster but mostly to stop the war rather than expecting it.

    Even then Blair was reelected in no small part because the Tories, having backed the war, couldn’t use it against Labour.

    Blair as a Barrister by training was good at presenting a good case and convincing people of his honesty and sincerity but it was an act.

    An act that clearly hooked you, line and sinker!

    Peter.

  2. RM

    Polls much of a muchness slight ups and downs for both parties . Looks to me that neither party has the public confidence either in general policies or over the various position each party has regarding brexit.

  3. Turk,

    “Looks to me that neither party has the public confidence”

    More likely, Brexit, Summer and the World Cup mean people just aren’t focused on politics.

    Peter.

  4. “… he expected the same outcome and the same electoral boost as Thatcher got from the Falklands…”

    Because he clearly needed a boost when faced by the unstoppable juggernaut that was…

    [checks notes]

    … Iain Duncan Smith.

    Of course, in reality it was a mixture of post-9/11 solidarity with America, and a desire to oust a dictator who had killed 1.5m people. Was it the wrong decision? Yes. Was it a cynical decision? No.

  5. @ PETERW – It was a hypothetical polling question. Hypothetical questions are flawed but those were the result of that polling question (did you open ROGER’s link?) I was surprised as IMHO you should have seen higher ‘tribal loyalty’. Again IMHO it shows how many Arch-Remain are inside of LAB VI and backs up why Corbyn is keeping his head down over Brexit, new ref, etc. He wants Brexit but he knows he has to let CON deliver it.

    FWIW, roughly and assuming not too much change in Scotland that kind of poll would result in

    CON 355 (+37)
    LAB 206 (-56)
    LDEM 26 (+14)
    SNP 41 (+6)

    Basically exposing Corbyn as Leaver helps LDEM and SNP quite a bit but really helps CON. It’s not quite as good (if you use UNS) with Corbyn as Remain but this comes down to the aggregation issue I mentioned y’day (Corbyn as Remainer would vote stack in seats he already has)

    The major flaw with the poll is it assumes the next election is before Brexit is over (ie a party can still be opposed to ‘Brexit’. It is more likely LDEM become UKIP in reverse which might be a lot less popular – hence the urgency for LDEM to expose Corbyn and why CON-Leave want to indirectly encourage that!)

    @ PT – Correct, strategy not policy, apologies. With that in mind and the general view that Corbyn just needs to stay slightly to Remain side of CON he will be quite happy with May going. The next CON leader will be far harder on Brexit and that gives Corbyn a lot more room to breathe – not that he’s exactly breaking a sweat over Brexit though! If May is allowed to go too far towards a Norway deal then Corbyn’s breathing space disappears – leaving SM is vital for his plans. The EEA vote lost by a large margin during WB debate but as May clutches for any straw to keep her in #10 it’s rumoured to be coming back (with hand picked cherries on!)

    @ COLIN – Its not too late, but the pyjama party needs to go roughy like this:

    1/ Brexiteers give May the final yard of rope and agree mild compromise but keep the red lines. Fine balance between too much cake and not enough cake (Canada+++ with Max Fac is too much cake – that might have worked in Oct but not now). The only other essential Brexiteer need is to start No Deal implementation (plans are ready, just needs GO from Hammond – or Hammond to go!)
    2/ May knows this is her final chance and tells Merkel as much on 12July. Basically she begs Merkel with the line that if Merkel doesn’t save her then May will resign and next PM will be much harder to deal with.
    3/ We then keep our fingers crossed everyone plays ball:
    i/ Merkel is unable and unwilling to help (safe bet)
    ii/ EC laugh at the cake May has proposed and ideally dictate BINO or No Deal (unfort Barnier isn’t playing ball just yet)
    iii/ May keeps her word and says “I tried, I failed, over to someone else – I’m off on a walking holiday and after that I’m doing a Cameron”

    She has to go but she has to resign and it has to be soon (it’s already v.v.late). If ERG team up with Corbyn to remove her it will take too long and do irreparable damage to CON (and the country!). The threat needs to be there and I’m 95% sure it is genuine but the role of Brexiteers at the pyjama party has to be to tie May’s fate to EC agreeing her cake – if she fails (which she will), she agrees (in advance) to go – but go quietly, not a full-on war where she tries to stay and multiple challengers also pitch in.

    Sadly I think this will drift into Summer recess. May has been a bunny in the headlights since she b0tched the GE but I think we agree that we need the EC to run her down, not ERG!

    P.S. Did SMogg just back Javid or is he just playing it cool? I wonder what position SMogg is after. CoE? F.Sec? Anywhere but H.Sec works for me. Tough to know who to put in H.Sec if Javid takes PM slot though. Hopefully in the side rooms of the pyjama party they get the ‘Govt in waiting’ agreed – do you have any picks for any posts?

  6. POLLTROLL’

    “and a desire to oust a dictator who had killed 1.5m people.”

    Oh go on, I like a laugh, give us a list of the other Dictators he tried to oust.

    Bush may have used an excuse to deal with unfinished business in Iraq, but Blair was less about solidarity and more about out Torying the Tories.

    Blair wanted some of that Thatcher/Reagan World stage appeal. Not quite the narcissist Trump is but Mr “Hand of History” loved the limelight.

    Peter.

  7. TREVOR WARNE

    @”do you have any picks for any posts?

    Happy for a new Leader to choose .

    Javid for Leader at present-and that with some big caveats .

    Thanks for your “pyjama party” scripts. Its all beyond me now-I have no idea what will happen. But once you have accepted that EU never ever desired ” Deep & Special Partnership” & that trying to negotiate it with them was & is a complete & utter waste of time-a strange sort of calm setlles. A bit like being in the Trenches I imagine.

  8. POLLTROLL
    “Because he clearly needed a boost when faced by the unstoppable juggernaut that was… [checks notes] … Iain Duncan Smith.”

    I have always been amazed – and disappointed – at how incredibly timid Blair was, from the moment he got the leadership to the day he bowed out. Throughout his premiership he acted like an insecure fifteen-year-old fanboy at a sci-fi convention mustering the courage to approach an actor who played third Klingon on the right in an episode of Star Trek fifty years ago.

    The 1997 campaign was run as if they were expecting to lose again, the potential for undoing the worst excesses of the Tories was squandered, he grovelled to the Royals and GW Bush as if in awe of them, threw away the opportunity to join the Euro – which really would have put paid to any dreams the sceptics had of leaving the EU.

    His people-pleasing drove him to pursue the approval of the owners and editors of papers whose mission in life is/was to destroy the party he purported to represent, and with his assistance all but did so. All they needed to do was move further and further to the right, knowing that he would follow, and they were not wrong. In the end there was not a gap wide enough for the proverbial between him and the Tories, so when the fan was duly hit the people looked at New Labour, Cameron and Nick Clegg and were unable to tell them apart.

    I think that he genuinely was afraid, constantly, that William Hague, IDS and Michael Howard were capable of coming up with more popular ideas than his, and that he genuinely believed that they might defeat him in an election. This probably harks back to the point I was making earlier about the difference between conviction and career politicians. Because Blair never believed in any cause, I think that he was just afraid of being found out.

    As I said above, you can have a debate with someone who believes in something, Blair believed in nothing, which left him with nothing but soundbites and platitudes, of the same quality that our PM spouts daily – because she is a career politician who believes in nothing as well, equally terrified that moving decisively in either direction will reveal to the world precisely what the emperor is actually wearing.

  9. DANNY

    Polltroll: “Au contraire, it tries too hard. So hard, in fact, that it ends up deporting British citizens.”

    Rather, perhaps, there are some british citizens it would prefer to deport to make room in its quotas for immigrants it wants to let in.

    Actually the two are unrelated. The Brits (mostly actually those with genuine Permanent Leave to Remain) were deported (or as damagingly not allowed to return to their British homes) because there were targets to deport people. There are separate targets to try to reduce the number of immigrants. But while there are many ways in which the UK resembles a dodgy nightclub, operating a one-in-one-out rule isn’t one of them

    It’s obviously easier to deport law-abiding pensioners, who need to interact with the state, than actually find illegal immigrants who don’t. As it happens one of the difficulties with deporting illegal immigrants may be that it’s difficult to find them because there are many fewer of them than people think. We know that the Home Office under-estimated the number of foreign students who went home (and so overestimated the number who illegally overstayed):

    https://www.theguardian.com/education/2017/aug/24/pressure-grows-for-immigration-targets-to-exclude-foreign-students

    and that what electronic systems they have are very poor at registering those coming in and (especially) leaving:

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/mar/28/border-exit-checks-records-of-600000-people-missing-watchdog-reveals

    So it may simply be that the illegals don’t exist – or at least they’re not who they think they are.

  10. I feel sure Tom Watson will be interested in the outcome of this trial:-

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-44700764

  11. @PETER CAIRNS (SNP)

    Given the almost annihilation of the much stronger Iraqi Army in Desert Storm he expected the same outcome and the same electoral boost as Bush Senior got from Liberating Kuwait and Thatcher from the Falklands.

    That Iraq went wrong because of American hubris was something no one expected even those who didn’t want the war.

    Many warned of disaster but mostly to stop the war rather than expecting it.

    What is interesting is that numerous people warned Blair and Bush that their level of preparation was poor. To expel Saddam from Kuiwait required over 500K soldiers and that coined the phrase from Rumsfeld that you go with the army you have rather than the Army you want.

    Jacque Chirac, who was a paratroop battalion commander in the Algerian war told Blair that even if they were successful they would have Iraq for at least 20 years, the comment from Blair was typical of him “Jacques just does not get it does he”

    As I have said before I marched against the war because the same rationale that held true for not going in after desert storm held true for 2003 we would need to basically own the country and rebuild it those prosecuting the war believed that they did not. They sold the war as something of a quick get in and get out and planned for that. What was disappointing was they basically sacked the chief of staff that disagreed and said he needed 500K soldiers to prosecute the war and control Iraq. it was actually a very public sacking. Something again that was in the storm to war many people forgot.

    In the US some in the media pointed out that they could not put the case for not going to war because that was not what people wanted to hear. One reporter said that basically they were going to war no matter what and then they were going to war not on the US Military’s terms but actually on Rumsfeld’s terms he compromised and went with 250K soldiers and the total number was close to 200K short of what was necessary.

    Blair albeit sideline really form the detail believed in the policy of being close to the US (as it ere a bridge to the EU) he was particularly stung by Schroeder’s dismissal of the evidence and of course Robin Cooks resignation. What surprised me was the fact that when we saw the evicence for ourselves it was just sheer conjecture. Did Blair believe his own bullsh1t? obviously he did but I believe whilst he knew he had support of the country he knew he was storing up a huge well of resentment amongst the members of the labour party whom had been thoroughly sidelined

    Incidentally I view brexit and iraq as real bedfellows.

    https://yougov.co.uk/news/2015/06/03/remembering-iraq/

    I have stated that this will be the fate of brexit. Like Iraq we engaged in an adventure with no plan, a huge lack of knowledge and no real policy debate.

    Oh and Bush senior lost to Clinton he was a 1 term president. desert storm did absolutely nothing for him electorially

  12. PtRP,

    “Oh and Bush senior lost to Clinton he was a 1 term president. desert storm did absolutely nothing for him electorially”

    In Feb 1991 just after the war ended Bush hit over 80% approval. Unlike Thatcher it was a bit to long till the election.

    https://news.gallup.com/poll/116677/presidential-approval-ratings-gallup-historical-statistics-trends.aspx

    Peter.

  13. @TURK

    Personally I think your reply is based on your own view of politics and accompanied with the usual bias that comes with such views.

    This is not unusual we all look at politics that way a sort of my parties better than yours so there ,and these are the reasons why I think so ,even better apparently if you can produce a YouTube video again one from a biased point of view.

    I don’t support Labour indeed I am a none of the above voter and have stated so many times. My argument has been that people are tribal and would vote based on tribe rather thna policy

    The Youtube video was actually from the BBC it basically asked the question about policies rather than the politics my point is that politcs is rather tribal

    We are all guilty of looking at parties who we don’t agree with and seeing them as rather narrow ,prone to political extremes hard right/hard left, however in the real world most U.K. political parties stay away from those two extremes because they realise the majority of voters don’t associate themselves with those ideals

    I pointed out that if you were a right leaning supporter you had very few places to go where as if you were left leaning you had three or four parties vying for your vote. I had not argued that the Tories were more extreme indeed my last point was that May sold a tribal set of policies which while went down well with her voters she got 42.4% of the vote I believe that th e reality was that Corbyn undercut her even though he was deemed unelectable because he pushed a set of policies that despite the fact he is not popular with the electorate his polices are
    .
    The Tories are no more extreme than Labour both parties policies wish to achieve more or less the same aim it’s just in some cases the Journey, and how that journey is made possible that is different but with the same destination .

    On this point I am not sure I agree. I pointed out the fact that half of Tory MPs voted against a right that was a clear imbalance between those of hetrosexual relationships and those in gay relationships. it was an easy balance to redress it is a simple fact that the majority of Tory MP voted against it. yet the clear recipient of the policy seemed to point at the DUP as the soem form of bogeyman

    the smae situation occured over the windrush scandal, I quote Javid response to a policy his boss instituted. that Lbour did not have a monopoly of outrag over the issue as if being caught and having to correct this outrage as he put it seemingly absolved the people whom instituted the policy.

    So no I don’t think Labour has more facets to it than any other party of course sometimes parties throw up unlikely leaders that’s true of any party ,but U.K. politics is about maintaining the status quo even if we don’t want to believe it .Because that’s what the public vote for ,after all the public don’t want a radially new NHS just the same old one ,no change just more money and the same can be said for most things, voters aren’t voting for radical change ,because politicians have sold them the story that everything can become better without change, just more money..

    I did not say anything about Labour having more facets indeed my point was that if May had pursued Corbyn’s policies your average Tory voter would have been none the wiser it would be seen as sensible policy. it is like the Affordable Care Act/ObamaCare. Call it one thing oyu you get a 20% increase in support for it amongst GOP voters. tell them it is the same thing and you will be surprised at their response.

    Simply put my point, which I believe that you ignored is that we don’t have policy debate we have tribal politics which was part of the reason that we had the magic money tree and austerity and people voted for it at 42..4% but actually we did not want it

    As I said there have been several polls which have shown that the debate has swung to the left. it will be interesting how the Tories pivot because that is where we are now.

    I d not find any of these thing controversial or earth shattering and you distinctly did not reply to what I posted

  14. @PETER CAIRNS (SNP)

    My point was that the war became unimportant rather quickly and people moved on because it was essentially like the olympics a big win but it did not affect people much people returned to their normal everyday existence and whilst he had decent approval ratings he kind of lost it on policy matters. People found him OK they just found Clinton that much better.

    Indeed it is the first time an incumbent lost an election based on based on domestic policy matters. For example Carter killer was pretty much the lack of being able to do anything about Iran it epitomized weakness. LBJ was wedded to the Vietnam war which is why he never ran for a second term so I can’t think of a modern incumbent that lost with such a high approval rating even at the end of his tenure.

  15. @TREVOR WARNE

    I can understand your need as a leaver and a Tory to expose Corbyn as a leaver but I don’t understand what the hell the Lib Dems get out of it. Most Labour voters put other matter as more important and indeed the issue which Corbyn fought the lection were nothing to do with Brexit where as Both May and to an extent the Liberal Democrats fought on brexit.

    I think the ambiguity suits him because he is the opposition he can’t change anything as the Liberal Democrat cannot. There is not enough rebels in the Tory party to make anything happen.

    I think this one has to be owned by those that want it and in many ways I do not see a new referendum changing anything say if remain win by 52:48 I cannot see people like yourself not arguing the issue as per your view. In the end Corbyn’s eye is on power and I think his view is that Labour Leave supporters would desert him if he tried to overturn the vote without a clear mandate in the same way May is in electoral induced hell because we think it is a bad idea but we can see a way of not doing it without it being either painful or us looking like losers. So in the main the electorate have put our politician in a position of holding the poisoned chalice. it is why I argued that labour won the toss and put May into bat.

    As to why May went to the country and di what she did in the election, I think it was clear.

    1. She thought Cobyn was rubbish and no one in their right mind would vote for him

    2. She thought having lived with Cameron’s promises she wanted the flexibility to basically do what she wanted and hence the no promises manifesto

    3. I am sure people were screaming at her to do it. If you remember Labour MPs were resigning all over the shop trying hard not to run for election Tristan Hunt as a good example.

    I think May only miscalculation was that Labour would run scared instead they came out fighting and produced a manifesto that basically would tick more of your boxs than anyhting that the Tories have proposed up to now and that is your problem isn’t it you want that sh1t Corbyn back

    ;-)

  16. @COLIN
    it is not the simple trying to break the four freedoms even Switzerland bilaterals don’t actually break them and indeed when they wanted to the EU basically played hard ball. I think it is either Norway or Canada I believe that has been the point from the EU CoM and that was what was presented to the UK earlier. I think we are just wasting time. If we really believe that we are screwed if we accept either we need to say how and why. Personally if we go for Norway I would say why the hell indeed if you even go for what Peston presents here then I reckon it has all been a waste of time but hey as I said before I think people will be selling this as a win some how and I think that is now more important than actually what the deal is for May or indeed if Corbyn was in the same position. Essentially the electorate has asked them to do the impossible and no politician can say the electorate was wrong there isn’t enough votes in it and even though the electorate thinks the idea is not that good any more if the polls are to be believed the same polls say we can’t bring ourselves to do anything about it. The inertia is basically electorate not really moving they are hedging as much as government and the opposition.

  17. PTRP

    It’s just an observation but even though you state you don’t support a political party I’ve yet to witness anything other than a pro left slant to your post. Certainly I see nothing in your posts that would suggest you have an unbiased view of the aTory party for instance.
    As to not replying to your post of course I did if you choose a different view that’s entirely up to you.
    To be clear I’m a Tory before moving to the US I was a active Conservative campaigner so as stated everything I post is from that slant personally I find it difficult to believe that people who post on this site have no particular political affiliation even if they claim to be neutral.

  18. Encouraging to see the broad labour movement moving towards remain with Unite the Union – one of our largest unions – endorsing the idea of a second referendum.

    Moreover, Patricia Gibson, thought to be one of the SNP’s foremost MPs, has pointed out that, “the people of Scotland “will not have their voices overridden by Westminster without consequence, dismiss them at your peril”.

    Things are moving in only one direction.

  19. Also, Sadiq Kahn – London’s first citizen – added his voice to others concerned about the current state of affaris. He stated today that “the prime minister is being held hostage by the hard Brexiteers. If ministers do not sort themselves out, and secure a sensible Brexit deal that is in the best interests of the entire country, then they may never be forgiven.”

  20. @Profhoward: “Also, Sadiq Kahn – London’s first citizen – added his voice to others concerned about the current state of affaris. He stated today that “the prime minister is being held hostage by the hard Brexiteers. If ministers do not sort themselves out, and secure a sensible Brexit deal that is in the best interests of the entire country, then they may never be forgiven.””

    It is really silly to say the PM is hostage to the Hard Brexiteers, when she is really hostage to the EU who won’t negotiate, and Remainers who won’t let her do anything but climb down.

    It is also weird that the EEA solution which Remainers successfully trashed in the referendum campaign is now described as a sensible Brexit. In fact, I dare say your side would think it a sensible Brexit if we stayed in pretty much every part of the EU other than the voting institutions.

  21. Prof Howard

    Things may be moving in two directions.

    This piece from Qpol discusses some aspects of Northern Ireland leaving the Union. I would like to hear your views of it.

    http://qpol.qub.ac.uk/leaving-the-union/

  22. joseph1832: It is really silly to say the PM is hostage to the Hard Brexiteers, when she is really hostage to the EU who won’t negotiate

    What do you think you are entitled to that the EU are not giving you?

  23. SNP forcing divisions on the Estimates tonight in the HoC. Unfortunately, this means English Tory MPs could not watch a lot of the England match. Hopefully, they managed to catch the Colombian equaliser in injury time.

  24. Joseph1832′

    “when she is really hostage to the EU who won’t negotiate”

    They have negotiated;

    On day one they set out their stall and named their price and are still waiting for the UK to say how they’ll meet it.

    There is nothing wrong with going into a negotiation and putting your best and final offer on the table in the first meeting, especially if you think it’s the best offer they are likely to get and they need the deal.

    Then it’s up to the other side to agree or walk away.

    Peter.

  25. @joseph1832

    “It is really silly to say the PM is hostage to the Hard Brexiteers, when she is really hostage to the EU who won’t negotiate, and Remainers who won’t let her do anything but climb down.”

    Strange, I thought there had been negotiations and a large measure of agreement on withdrawal and transition arrangements. The EU can hardly negotiate on the long term trade arrangement until the story party can settle its internal differences and agree on a negotisting position.

  26. Sam I will take a look tomorrow, looks interesting.

  27. “It is also weird that the EEA solution which Remainers successfully trashed in the referendum campaign is now described as a sensible Brexit. In fact, I dare say your side would think it a sensible Brexit if we stayed in pretty much every part of the EU other than the voting institutions.”

    I think Remainers take the view that remaining in the Single Market and Customs Union is the best form of Brexit. That is consistent with saying that staying in would nevertheless be better than EEA as it allows one to have a voice in the EU decision making process.

  28. Strange Sam but that link now does not work for me.

  29. Sam I read the piece by Colin Harvey. It didn’t have a lot of argument in it, more a long series of questions. I don’t know the answers to those questions. I think its hard to say at this point, maybe it will be easier to answer them once we know better what type of Brexit is to happen. At the moment people in NI and in Scotland will be forgiven for wondering if they could do better than the current arrangement – given how poor the present London government is. But these are unusual times and it might be wise to wait and see a year or so before answering these questions.

    In some ways Northern Ireland has a secure economic position in that its place in the Single Market and Customs Union is guaranteed under the agreement made in December. It could end up being rather privileged, relative to other parts of the UK, though in fact the DUP are in fact rather worried about that.

  30. @TW
    Rebasing data in alternative units (seats rather than percent of total vote) makes no difference to the question of whether or not it is bad data.

    Of course I read the link. I’ll quote the question:
    “Imagine at the next election the Conservative and Labour parties both support going ahead with Brexit, and the Liberal Democrats are opposed to Brexit. How would you then vote?”

    This is as a matter of fact a hypothetical only in respect of the “Imagine at the next election” bit. It’s the question in the survey that isn’t hypothetical about the policy. As a matter of fact it reflects where we were in 2016, and where we are now. With both main parties supporting going ahead with Brexit but, as RM said, Labour keeping at all times a ciggie paper softer.

    (At least as regards Lab and Con policies, I don’t think the LibDems have ever gone so far as to oppose Brexit rather than just ask for another vote. But that’s not pertinent to the discussion of whether Labour should change policy.)

    So the quoted question does as a matter of logic say “Imagine at the next election the Conservative and Labour parties both have their current Brexit policies. How would you then vote?”

    And it produces more than a quarter decline in the Labour vote relative to a bare “How would you vote?” question that is silent on policy.

    And perhaps more pertinently, the same order of decline in the Labour vote relative to how people actually did vote a bare year ago.

    We can assume only that the question for some reason isn’t being answered as the “no change” question. Even though, factually, it is.

    So either vast swathes of the electorate think Labour is currently for Remain. Or vast swathes are interpreting it as meaning Labour moving to a hard leave and no longer being the softer option.

    The post-2016 evidence provides very little support for the former hypothesis, so I’d incline to the latter. It is indeed one of the problems with hypotheticals that people read into them what they simply do not say.

    But either way the data must be nonsense. Because it reduces to a scenario where in response to the question: “what would you do if the parties don’t change their policies?” almost one in five (if you include the churn)are answering, “oh, obviously, then I’d change my vote wouldn’t I?”. Really? Is that close to plausible?

  31. I’m having a bad night. The last election was in 2017 of course.

  32. Quiet tonight…was there football on?

    Peter.

  33. @ProfHoward: “I think Remainers take the view that remaining in the Single Market and Customs Union is the best form of Brexit. That is consistent with saying that staying in would nevertheless be better than EEA as it allows one to have a voice in the EU decision making process.”

    Some do, some don’t. Lord Hill (and many others) take the view that they really don’t want to leave, but you cannot leave and maintain the EU’s authority over the UK. There are those who believe that power should only be exercised with democratic accountability.

    I understand the idea that Single Market and Customs Union are of overriding importance.

    But if they are of overriding importance then you do not leave.

    Soft-Brexit means a very significant amount of UK government is conducted by a foreign power which is perfectly capable of using that power in a hostile manner and saying, “We’ve already established you’re not going to do anything about it.” It is inherently unstable. It must end in a final break or returning to the fold.

    Single Market plus Customs Union plus whatever else the EU demands is added makes no sense. Unless your idea of sensible is to gloat at Leavers to say, “Ha, ha, is this what you mean by ‘taking back control’.”

    As it is, I do not doubt that every last Soft-Brexit supporter will turn on a sixpence if they get their way and exclaim: “So why not just stay?? Look what nonsense Johnson has brought on you!!” They’d be right to say we should stay.

  34. Perhaps we need a saltire thread putting up Saturday afternoon Peter?

  35. Theexterminatingdalek,
    ” He and Starmer have positioned the party just on the remain side of the sinking ship of Brexit, and as the latter sinks the displacement of the water surrounding it will simply push his little lifeboat slightly further in the same direction”

    An interesting analogy. However there is an observed tendency for those in lifeboats which remain too close to a sinking ship to be dragged down with it.

    Trevor Warne,
    “@ DANNY – CON leadership challenge and next GE will not be like the last time. People learn from mistakes – well some people anyway. Corbyn was elected twice!”

    And I see exactly the same happening for the tories if there is a challenege.

  36. Danny
    There is that danger, certainly, it’s going to create a lot of turbulence when it does finally keel over.

  37. Trevor Warne,
    “Basically exposing Corbyn as Leaver helps LDEM and SNP quite a bit but really helps CON.” …….
    “. With that in mind and the general view that Corbyn just needs to stay slightly to Remain side of CON he will be quite happy with May going. The next CON leader will be far harder on Brexit and that gives Corbyn a lot more room to breathe –”

    Except that what we have seen, if anything, is slipping of support for Corbyn while he has been slightly on the remain side. The labour manifesto promise, which defeated the tories hard brexit promise, was to place the interests of the Uk economy first. This translated for many as stop brexit if it is contrary to the national interest. (which, of course, remainers believe it is).

    In order to keep those voters, labour needs to be firmly remain. Most likely such people are currenly undecided.

    As I alluded to just now, I really dont think just slightly more remain than con will hack it. Its OK as a holding position while labour seeks to remain uncommitted, but if any real vote comes along labour needs to be remain.

    Labour’s other policies were perfectly acceptible to tories, except that labour was proposing them. Being identified as remain is what drew in extra voters and got Corbyn/labour its success in the last election. His personal standing with voters overcame the unelectable mess his MPs had created by refusing to cooperate with him.

    At the moment the tories are creating a similar percption about themselves. I have argued, deliberately.

    “May knows this is her final chance and tells Merkel as much on 12July. Basically she begs Merkel with the line that if Merkel doesn’t save her then May will resign and next PM will be much harder to deal with.”

    I wonder sometimes where people get their ideas. Germany doesnt care who is UK prime minister. What they want is for the Uk to make up its mind. The whole purpose of talks deadlines is to try to force the UK to commit to something. Anything, so long as it is a decision.

    I expect they would prefer the UK in than out of the EU, but the Uk is currently behaving like a jellyfish and will collapse as a country unless its government can decide on a policy, rather than spending its time unscrewing more and more of the national car as it races towards the cliff.

    The only reason Merkel might like May in the job is because she is a remainer, but I dont see any chance of a tory government led by a leaver. If by some accident leavers managed to get a leaver elected by the members as leader, the party would split.

    I am rather unclear whether there would be an election in such a situation. Tory remainers might prefer a coalition with labour remainers to stop Brexit. This would have the bonus of deflecting blame for stopping brexit away from the parties, if it was a cross party coalition.

  38. Joseph1832,
    “Single Market plus Customs Union plus whatever else the EU demands is added makes no sense”

    Ah, but you are cherry picking the argument. Plainly soft brexit leaves the UK in a worse position than membership (we seem to agree on this), but hard brexit leaves us even worse off. There is no realistic prospect of the UK ceasing to follow EU rules under any scenario.

    The EU is our biggest trading partner and will continue to be so in every scenario. The logical thing for any Uk government to do, regardles of our reationship with the EU is to copy every Eu trading rule that it can, so as to assist our trade with them.

    The options are:
    1)membership: follow the rules, make the rules, belong to the market.
    2)soft brexit: folow the rules, belong to the market.
    3) hard brexit: follow the rules.

    Fundamentally the UK currently welcomes immigrants because it needs either their money or their labour. This isnt going to change, so freedom of movement is also going to continue whatever happens. (with the caveat, that if the Uk economy collapses sufficiently we will stop needing some of that imported labour, though likely still to welcome the rich and the skilled)

    ECJ: doesnt really matter whether there is a formal law making ECJ precedent binding, we will fall in line with its rulings anyway. Probably we will ignore various provisions of the charter of human rights, which seems to have been a big driver for the UK in getting rid of EU law, because EU law requires we follow them. This will only really have internal impact reducing rights of Uk citizens as to the Uk government. (we revert to being subjects with no rights rather than citizens)

  39. “Some do, some don’t. Lord Hill (and many others) take the view that they really don’t want to leave, but you cannot leave and maintain the EU’s authority over the UK. There are those who believe that power should only be exercised with democratic accountability.”

    When it comes to things like international trading arrangements you can’t do that on the basis of intra-national democracy as there are multiple trading partners. The rules of the single market and customs area are set by a wide body of interests from many countries and so there isn’t a lot to worry about in terms of them being against the UK’s interests. So I think the sovereignty argument doesn’t stack up..

  40. “Plainly soft brexit leaves the UK in a worse position than membership (we seem to agree on this), ”

    Though I agree being in the EU is best, there are some potential advantages of the Norway solution so that some people could prefer that rationally – e.g. you’d be out of any EU army and EU foreign policy and you would only be in the Single Market part of it – which is the part we seem to like as a country.

  41. Danny
    You seem to be moving away from your GE as the only way out of this mess position?

    Agree absolutely that the EU couldn’t care less who is PM. They have stated their position clearly and unequivocally, although not in the sense that Little Nell appears to understand those words. I’m surprised they even bothered to allow her fifteen minutes to talk about it last week, just putting up a sign saying “cake shop closed for the summer” would have done as well.

    Roger M in his excellent post a couple of nights ago convincingly discredited the idea that Corbyn would do better as a remainer using the figures from polling, I’m not sure that his approval has dipped sufficiently in the polls to convince of causation, his Euroscepticism has been factored in for a long time. I just see it as more mischief making by the RWMs, but like Boris over the road and Milliband D before them none seem to want to actually test their popularity by launching another challenge. Corbyn must be quaking in his wellies at the prospect of Chris Leslie or Umunna challenging for the leadership, since they appear to be doing most of the RWMs dirty work at the moment.

    I can’t see anyone from Labour propping up the Tories as you describe. Possibly some might have broken away had May not squandered the majority last year, but even in the short term I think defecting to the Tories would be brave as career moves go. The idea that they could do it while remaining in the party stretches probability a shade too far.

  42. DANNY

    @”The only reason Merkel might like May in the job is because she is a remainer,”

    She is a clinger on at the moment :-

    “If this agreement becomes the German Government position we will be required to take action to avert negative consequences for Austria and its population”

    Sebastian Kurz

    ” We’re not prepared to stand by and watch some lunatics spend weeks publicly hurling abuse & insulting each other and making the country hold its breath and then be expected to say within 24 hours whether we’re going to perpetuate this rubbish”

    Martin Shulz
    SPD

    Welcome to the new world of Intra-“Union ” Bi-Lateral agreements …….when it helps Merkel’s political future , & EU wide Agreements like Schengen threaten it.

    https://www.politico.eu/article/angela-merkel-horst-seehofer-germany-migration-deals-domino-effect/

  43. Colin,
    “once you have accepted that EU never ever desired ” Deep & Special Partnership””

    This was a tory campaign invention. Why would anyone think it is an EU goal? It is an unrealisable leave promise.

    roger mexico,
    “while there are many ways in which the UK resembles a dodgy nightclub, operating a one-in-one-out rule isn’t one of them”

    There is no formal numerical limit, but the need for the government is to reduce published immigration numbers. Yet at the same time it wanted and still wants to let in workers of all sorts who are needed. Logically then, get rid of immigrants who are not needed, whetever they were promised before.

  44. @TURK

    Again what I found really disappointing was I made a number of observations about the Tory party what I believe their strategy could be and the fact they themselves have many supporters that have a ‘left wing’ stance when it comes to policy. As I know that you are in the US I pointedly used the issue of Obamacare to point out that tribalism tends to trump policy. Indeed Obamacare came basically from a GOP candidate, was rather insurance friendly and if was not put forward by Obama I would expect that most conservatives would have loved it. Indeed it was seen as a hated policy but had an approval rating of over 50% after Obama left office which is rather ironic.

    You however seem to say that it does not matter what I say because I am view that you deem from the left. I am actually closer to a liberal as anything according to most political barometer charts. Indeed the politician I think who are worth of consideration are people like Sarah Woolaston and indeed Sir Douglas Hurd whom was very insightful when talking about EU

    I have pointely said that for example moderate Labour politicians have not been able to answer the policy issues and that the Liberals basically betrayed their own ideals when they were in government. In the ast I even hve pointed out that had the moderates come up with a set of radical policies they would have defeated Corbyn but they didn’t indeed the only clear view they had was that Corbyn was unelectable

    I have also pointed out that SNP blew it when they did not talk about ending austerity until after the election was over they basically missed the boat it meant that Tories talked about indref 2/3/4 which was again a stroke of genius

    that talk about policy in the same vein as Corbyn (indeed all parties are doing this) My ending point was that had May had delivered a manifesto stright from Ed Milibands campaign I believe Tory voters would have loved it I don’t know what it would have done in the election but I think the Tories would have felt good about themselves rather than having ‘won’ the election feeling like they had lost it.

    lastly they are the governmen in power and they have handled a number of issue so poorly that it is difficult to have positive view of the party. Indeed My point is that even sme of the flagship policy that I as a ‘liberal’ would like to say that is a positive say ga marriage legislation was actually opposed by the majority of MP. The idea that giving people rights is left wing thing is what I find offensive it is all humans should be treated equally thing that is not a left wing or right wing thing and hence my objection to the duplicity of it. The other issue I took offense to was the the London Mayoral campaign in which the Tories were just down right odious. I can see how when Cameron tried to tar Khan as a terrorist sympathizer as anything but inane. These are not policy decisions of the fringe of the party but decisions taken by those at the centre of the party not for policy but for crude dog-whistle tactics. That said my point was as is that Tory voters are more left leaning that they care to admit and believe the policy is sensible until they realise they come from the other side.

  45. DANNY

    @”Why would anyone think it is an EU goal? ”

    That it could be one after Brexit?

    Mutual Self Interest in Trade , Defence & Security of a close & harmonious continuing relationship with a former member , a significant regional player & contributor to European Culture , History & Heritage.

    That was certainly my own belief.

    The scales have fallen rapidly though.

  46. @ ProfHoward

    I posted this question on another thread recently but I imagine you are in a better position to answer it than the guesses of GB residents,

    I have been surprised in the current circumstances in Scotland and NI (i.e. their majorities against Brexit) and because of the connection between NI protestant communities and Scotland that no-one has appeared to suggest a “Celtic Federation” as a solution. Such a federation, ROI, NI and Scotland would retain a “union” with the part of the UK with which there is a connection but would also mean that there was a level of autonomy and a protection for minority communities.
    Is my surprise justified? Or are there fundamental reasons why such a proposition has never been mooted?

  47. theexterminatingdalek,
    “You seem to be moving away from your GE as the only way out of this mess position?”

    The EU would never be so impolite as to send little nell away without allowing her to at least ask for more cake.

    I wrote a post disagreeing with roger mexico’s analysis, mainy because I dont know of any evidence showing labour leavers would abandon the party if they go full remain. Indeed, the normal published yougov polling leaves open the possibility no labour supporters would be upset by a remain position. Their in-house access to the underlying data might shed more light.

    No labour are going to defect to the tories, but I could see even a not officially sanctioned coalition of remain MPs taking control of the Brexit process. The FTPA gives them the power to take control from the government on a single issue without removing it from office on other matters.

    This could get both labour and the tories off the hook of formally having to sanction remain.

    I think May’s backstop position is BINO, seeking remain. Whatever works to bring this about. But this is an evolved and evolving position, and one of the early steps was to ask for a mandate for hard brexit, which she would have delivered. But without strong public support this becomes impossible, because what has been promised simply cannot be delivered. It will only work if enough people voted for it for them to accept the blame.

    Her position is to represent the tory party, and what they want is to continue in government long term. Hard brexit will not achieve that, so it isnt an option. Declaring for remain would be pretty bad too, so that rules out both! Then you look for what is left: stall. Confuse everyone to death about what you really think. Undermine your own authority so you cannot deliver. Goad parliament to take over. Engineer defeats.

    Every step of the way, May has led her party towards remain.

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