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. Democracy & Accountability !!!

  2. Colin,
    “The scales have fallen rapidly though.”

    You mean, you now undertsand that the choice is and always has been either to be a member, an associate member like the EEA or switzerland, or to be a third country outsider?

    All claims by any party that there was any chance of a special relaionship for the Uk with the EU have always been wishful thinking based upon English exceptionalism and dreams of empire?

  3. More Project Fear?

    The irony of the hardest hit areas being Brexit strongholds (apart from NI) and London the least is risible,

  4. Can’t see how in strict political terms, if you care about electoral integrity, democratic process or accountability, you could expect the referendum result to stand now

    That doesn’t mean politically or socially it could be.

    It means if you’ve been indulging in cant about democracy and sovereignity than any refusal to countenance another referendum makes you an utter hypocrite. Also, by effectively sanctioning rule-breaking if you get your own way you are an overt danger to the UK democratic system, and you’re ensuring it happens again.

  5. Eotw,
    “The irony of the hardest hit areas being Brexit strongholds (apart from NI) and London the least is risible,”

    Did you mean risible, rather than ironic?

    It was polled that the areas most concerned about immigration are those where there is last immigration. So such perverse positions whould not really be a surprise. Exposure to the EU or its ramifications seems to breed acceptance that it is not a threat.

  6. @Danny

    Apologies, my sentence construction was very poor.

  7. As I understand him Roger Mexico’s point on the B4B poll is that although a positive remain stance may be better for Labour than positive leave one, sitting slightly to the left of the Conservatives on Brexit is better still. The case for this is that Labour were doing 5 points better on polled VI based on their current temporising position than they were on the hypothetical scenario of a more extreme remain position.

    Personally I doubt this conclusion as a) the difference is small and the questions not comparable, taken from different polling etc b) I don’t see how the strategy of nailing the Tories for Brexit will work if Labour is widely seen as not offering a clear alternative c) I think Corbyn is widely seen as a poor leader and needs to say something definitive, realistic and clear d) I actually think that the country sees it is in a mess and would be grateful to anyone who offers a clear way forward (Hence the popularity of ‘just get on with it’) e) As a remainer I obviously think that a clearer remain stance from Labour would be good for everyone .

    The problem of a clear alternative is that I guess that if the country wants anything it wants a) freedom from the political project of the EU b) continuing involvement in the economic, security, scientific project. The trouble is that we already have political freedom (own currency, fiscal policy, parliamentary system and foreign policy) so there is little to gain except ‘control of our borders’ and b) trade and borders interact. So the problem is negotiating the necessary compromise (free movement of workers but not free movement of citizens?) and then negating its downsides (high and enforced minimum wage etc).

    IMHO Labour should work out its position on this and then argue for it hard.

  8. [email protected] ProfHoward: 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?

    I’ll have a go at this.

    RoI resolved its position early in the last century and by now feels it is doing nicely. The only obligation it has is historical in respect of NI, about which it is reluctant on the pragmatics, although I believe it would go through with a UI in the event of a border poll. Such ideas as RoI joining the Commonwealth or following the UK in leaving the EU originate in some kind of Britosphere and are not taken seriously. So I doubt RoI would be interested in anything with Scotland which reduced its integrity as a political unit, although I do think that a UI and an independent Scotland would work to maximise synergy.

    NI lacks the political maturity to cope with the idea. While the Scotland connection and the RoI connection could play well to respectively different communities, each would probably be totally opposed to the other connection if the others were in favour..

    And speaking as a newly discovered Scot, I can see that the biggest connection for Scotland would be with the Unionist part of NI. Would a newly independent Scotland want to go there? Scotland has its own sectarian issues, which it is dealing with. While the idea could be a route to independence, the biggest obstacle is for Scotland to make and be allowed to make a decision to embark on the journey. Once the decision is made, Scotland is capable to make that journey itself.

    As for the term ‘Celtic Federation’, I think it is a bit misplaced. Wales is more Celtic than Scotland. Linguistically and historically, the central belt and the east south from Edinburgh form a continuity through the NE of England and southwards, although obviously there is an equivalent linguistic and historical continuity between parts of Scotland and parts of Ireland.

  9. @technicolouroctober

    To an outside observer your observations make sense, though as ever one hesitates to be too dogmatic about others’ affairs.

    I would just add that I imagine there would be a natural political affinity between a newly united Ireland and a newly independent Scotland. Not because of any shared genetic background, but simply as similar-sized neighbours and EU members, speaking the same language (mostly), with many shared interests and – of course – with a previous history of control from London. The Nordic nations would be a good role model in showing what good-hearted co-operation can achieve. Maybe getting EU funding for a NI-Scotland tunnel would be a good shared objective!

  10. @ TO @Somerjohn

    Thanks for your responses, both set out propositions which have some force.

    Whether or not it would set sail as an idea let alone gain momentum was not really at the heart of my question which is more about why it hasn’t even arisen as an idea at all.

    I am Welsh and my wife is a (lapsed (Catholic) from Northern Ireland (although she has not lived there for many years. Her father is Scottish and I know that Catholic connection exists as does the more substantial Protestant connection with Scotland. The idea is one which I raised with her but she said that she has lived in Wales too long to know what the situation on the ground is (hence my question being directed at ProfHoward).

    I used “Celtic Federation” as an easy shorthand as Ireland and Scotland were both happy to be in the Celtic League (as it once was) in Rugby Union not as a specific proposed name. However I get the feeling that there must be some pretty fundamental difficulty for the Idea not even to be broached.

  11. @EOTW

    Not sure why two seperate impact reports by two wholly unconnected organisations coming to the same conclusions as all the other impact reports is ‘Project Fear’, especially as the original ‘Project Fear’ was the cybernat term for the Better Together campaign that most Leavers fervently backed.

    Although the evidence strongly suggests that a certain vocal group of Brexit enthusiasts are, indeed, profoundly frightened by expertise and data.

    I can imagine social media Brexiteers during their childhoods.

    ‘Don’t put your hand in the fire, dear, you’ll get burned’
    ‘PROJECT FEAR!!!!’

  12. In a functioning Government run by a party with a basic sense of right and wrong, Esther McVey would have resigned this morning, but I don’t think she’s have even lied as she did if the Conservative Party possessed a functioning collective moral compass.

  13. I think there would be few if any in Scotland who would want a Celtic Federation, being fellow EU members would be fine for most.

    As to those who would favour it, these consist most on the two sides of the religious football divide of west central Scotland and the reason sone side want it are the opposite of the other and it’s the activities of both that have lead the majority of Scots to want little to do with Northern Ireland.

    in a real sense these groups like Unionist and Republican in NI are arguing today over a Union or United Ireland that will never exist.

    Politics in the North is stuck in a religious time warp which the South and mainland Uk left behind decades ago. In NI Ireland on Abortion, Same Sex Couples, Gay Rights and next probably drugs politics is a decade at leat behind the UK.

    As post the GfA North & South have become more integrated and similar all be it the once socially conservative
    South more progressive Politicians still argue over the Ireland of the past.

    Scotland wants no part of that.

    As to the Tunnel/Bridge; at at least £21n you could achieve a lot more benefit elsewhere with that sort of money on infrastructure.

    North East England has a higher GDP than NI but we don’t have a proper motorway to Newcastle. Extending the Borders railway to Carlise is worth the money as might a HS2 style line from Glasgow via Edinburgh to Newcastle be worth looking at.

    I’d be interested in a Solway barrier, even if only the short one using the old rail bridge route near Annan.

    Similarly if it could be linked to Wind and Wave generation there are a lot of short causeway type schemes that could bring real transport benefits in Scotland’s islands.


  14. @chrisriley

    Actually, Project Fear was Better Together’s own nickname for itself!

  15. I think some Brexiters on here managed to convince themselves thst HMRC were on track to be ready to handle customs declarations very soon. The UK Government thinks otherwise:

  16. @colin

    “The scales have fallen rapidly though.”

    Well, the UK Government has essentially taken the approach that Brexit means that everything must change for the UK’s benefit and nothing must change to its disadvantage.

    I did not take seriously the claims thst May and her team thought they could negotiate as non members opt ins to the bits of the EU they liked as a mirror image of the way in which the UK had negotiated as a member opt outs from the bits it didn’t like. But it seems that has been the approach,

    Quite why anybody thought this was a viable negotiating strategy is bizarre unless people really did believe the nonsense of “they need us more than we need them”.

  17. @chrisriley

    In many years of dealing with the NAO and NAO reports I have never seen such a direct criticism by the NAO of a Minister’s integrity. Given the issues which the Government had about the UC rollout it is astounding that McVèy has chosen to go into battle with the NAO.

  18. Hireton,

    “I did not take seriously the claims thst May and her team thought they could negotiate as non members opt ins to the bits of the EU they liked!”

    I take a slightly different tack.

    I agree that given everything that was said by the EU to Cameron and before made it unlikely if not near impossible I think non the less May and her Ministers thought they could.

    Two parts to this;

    Firstly the whole of Westminster was totally unprepared for a Leave vote, Not the Government, the Tory Party, Labour or even Leave. Thus the level of preparation , indeed ,understanding of the task ahead was lamentable.

    Secondly and building on this, they went into the negotiations with no clear idea of what they wanted, how to get it and what the outcome would be. The result was that when we called A50 we didn’t so much have a set of clear objectives as a Wish List!

    Sadly, like a kid at Christmas the list we scrawled for Mum & Dad bore no relation to what they were actually going to get us…

    We’ve thus been reduced to nearly two years of;

    Little Brit; I want Santa to bring me a Bike that can fly!
    Daddy Barnier; Oh that’s a lot to ask and I don’t think Santa could carry that in his Sleigh!

    Little Brit; But I want a Bike that flies!
    Daddy Barnier; I am sure that you do but what about maybe just a bike.

    Little Brit; Will it Fly!
    Daddy Barnier; It will be really nice and will go fast if you pedal really really hard.

    Little Brit; But will it fly!
    Daddy Barnier; Eh no it won’t, Bikes can’t fly!

    Little Brit; That’s not fair, Santa is being bad and I’ve been a good boy!
    Daddy Barnier; Well I don’t think that’s fair and I am sure Santa will get you nice things and if we’re honest have you really been that good?

    Little Brit; I HATE YOU!
    Daddy Barnier; Like I didn’t know you’d say that.


  19. DANNY

    @”All claims by any party that there was any chance of a special relaionship for the Uk with the EU have always been wishful thinking based upon English exceptionalism and dreams of empire?”

    You are a hoot old chap.:-)

    No. They were based on dreams of an EU which doesn’t exist-against my better judgement-which latter is confirmed more & more frequently these days.

    My Bad as they say :-)

  20. @Charles

    IMHO Labour should work out its position on this and then argue for it hard.

    I wish all parties would do this, on Brexit and many other issues.

    I believe there is something called political leadership. This means that a party works out the policy it supports based on it’s principles, and then campaigns for it.

    Instead these days we mostly get politicians who want to hang on to the coat tails on what they think the public want, whether good, bad workable or not.

  21. I think we will have truthful sophistry and that ‘we are in control of our own trade policy, borders etc’ will allow arrangements with the EU because we have made them.
    The argument will be that we can withdraw from these at any time (subject to agreed notice periods) and decide ourselves on extensions or amendments ourselves directly rather than as part of the EU.
    In truth this is BINO.

  22. @COLIN

    At the very beginning I pointed out to you that Historically the CoM were very strict on their rules. the rationale was that it meant that the 27 countries could move together and swiftly. The EU as a club will allow lots of flexibility for those IN the club but actually are very protective of member within the club too and the rules based system they have.

    The UK wants to break the rules based system. It does not matter if it is seen as ‘beneficial’ or ‘democratic’ or whatever outsiders want to call it. They allowed rule bending but not rule breaking and as such they have been very consistent.

    I pointed out that the EU would not do a Swiss type deal because it is hugely complex and fraught with lots of issues one of which came up when the Swiss tried to stop FoM and the EU said that it ended access to the single market the Swiss backed down.

    The history of the EU (and remember we were part of this was to create a strong negotiating position on behalf of its members. We voted to be no longer members. WE are a third party and I expected them to treat us as such.

    I am surprised you expected anything else after all isn’t that part of the reason for leaving the lack of flexibility. How are we expecting them to be more flexible now we have left make no sense at all. The problem has been that the EU has been entirely consistent in their approach had we been entirely consistent with our red lines we would have accepted a Canada deal a year ago and would have dealt with the fallout. In one aspect I agree with THE OTHER HOWARD if both side were consistent then we would have had no deal or Canada( no pluses or minuses ) but we believe that the EU would do something different. We made a political decision and they responded with one I am full of unsurprise about that but clearly you a follower of the EU and the Germans problems seem to misunderstand the situation.


    No one argued for a clear set of policies because the aim of leave was to get the largest group of people together to vote to leave consequentially you have disparate groups from the left and the right who only have the fact that they wanted to leave in common.

    People have voted based on that and the mess that it is can be entirely placed at the hand of the electorate in my view. everyone has a different version of leave and no one has the responsibility to point out what can and cannot be done. Until the electorate wants to review what the hell they have done I think no politician wanting to keep their seat or keep their party together will push for anything. This will be lead by electorate since result has been characterised as the will of the people. When the people change their mind the politicians will follow.

    It is clear that is why May is doing what she is doing and clear why Corbyn is doing what he is doing. Of the parties involved. Both Tories and Labour have significant Leave voters both need such voters to win power. The Labour party also has significant remain voters and as per usual those on the left have more choice than those on the right and therefore Corbyn has to be careful as how he treads (indeed look at his policy on trident as an example of his pragmatism in the face of his beliefs.)

    My view is we are leaving with EEA deal (but one where the Government could say it isn’t) or a Canada deal.

    The Canada deal is on if we insist on the red lines, the EEA deal if we don’t

  24. Catmanjeff: incidentally, this is one of many things that could be addressed with proportional representation. It would leave more room for parties to take niche positions , and hope to get them implemented as part of a coalition, rather than the current status quo of two big parties having to compromise with the electorate.

  25. Jomjm,
    “In truth this is BINO.”

    Not really addressed at you, but you made me consider what BINO really means.

    Soft brexit will not be ‘Brexit in name only’. It will means the Uk is placed in a significantly worse position as regards its ability to direct its own path, trading arrangements or destiny.

    BINO massively reduces the sovereignty of the UK as compared to being an EU member, so it isnt anything ‘in name only’.

    But equaly this would be true of a hard brexit also. In either case we lose the ability we currently have to direct the EU and will get nothing in return. In a hard brexit the Uk will continue to mirror EU rules, because it will really have no sensible choice except to do so.

  26. sorry jimjam, name really screwed up.

  27. CMJ,

    There is the other view that rather than pure positions parties should adopt the achievable.

    Labour campaigning for a remain position is unachievable. Making it clear they regret the outcome of the referendum which they think it is damaging and seeking to use what influence/power it has to ameliorate the damage by securing as soft a Brexit as possible is a credible position, even if it is one that Charles and others don’t agree with.

    Soft Brexit Tory MPs are the key group in the HOC as they are clearly sufficiently greater in number than Labour Leave to carry votes, or more realistically gain concessions.

    A hard remain labour Party neuter the influence of these MPs and Labour itself by extension.

    We don’t have AV HOC votes.

  28. Danny,

    Agree absolutely but to protect jobs etc a BINO in terms of trade arrangements (Customs and Markets) is the price of the vote.

    It is not Bino in terms of influence as you say and I share the view that we are diminished outside the EU.

    So imo (and Labours) soft Brexit is the least bad option as they can’t advocate ignoring the referendum result of seeking reversal without trying to make Brexit work first.

  29. @Hireton

    My apologies; I tried to avoid the silly name-calling (and giving) of the indyref.

    Re: McVey, Rudd resigned for far less. But anyone dealing with McVey over the years will understand she has not a shred of principle and she is in a party where that is now a virtue rather than an impediment.

    The one and only argument for Hard Brexit is that it is the most likely event of our lifetimes to destroy the whole rotten, corrupt Conservative Party and if that costs me and my family a grand a year then I can’t pay that money fast enough.

  30. DANNY (sorry only got round to replying to yesterday’s comment) Part I

    labour is 2:1 remain, and less motivated by brexit, yes. But the stat I dont see being measured is whether it is labour leavers or labour remainers who are the motivated ones.

    I’m not really sure, to be honest, and that applies especially if you try to distinguish those 2017 Labs who still support Leave from those who voted that way, but may have changed since. The poll I quoted above suggests they are (un)motivated to about the same extent – the Remain drop was twice the size of the Leave one, but there are twice as many Remainers. But ‘masterly ambiguity’ retains both.

    Hypotheticals are always dodgy of course because many respondents use them to ‘send a message’ rather than indicate how they actually would behave. But the point is that the Leavers would have somewhere to go, while in most constituencies the Remainers wouldn’t. As Charles pointed out it isn’t much of a drop, but Labour really needs every single percentage point at the moment.

    As to other polling, ICM polls have cross-breaks distinguishing between Remain and Leave for each Party, but there’s not normally the questions to tell how they would react to a change in political stance by those Parties. It certainly appears clear from those we do have that Lab Leavers are less keen about it than Con ones.

    Tories tried hard brexit at the election and it did not work. I asume their tactic is to negotiate a soft brexit deal, keep leavers onboard because of their being the only serious brexit party left, and watch remainers scuttling back to the libs, or staying at home, or even going back to tory.

    What the Tories tried at the elections was A Brexit where the Gertrude Stein of Downing Street proclaimed that “Brexit means Brexit” and that only she was Strong and Stable enough to deliver it. “It” of course being whatever the Brexit-inclined imagined it to be – as soft as talc or hard as diamond, though the predominant consistency was that of cake. The Conservatives had their own version of mastery ambiguity.

    In reality the reason for calling the election was not much to do with any version of Brexit. It was to try to produce the first massive majority for 30 years and so be able to push through all sorts of other policies. Brexit was supposed to be the magic word that would gather together Tories, Labour Leavers and 2015 UKIP voters into one big, if undefined, tent and produce that majority. Tory remainers would be kept in place with threats of Evil Jez.

    And the polls were so favourable that the much of the Tory Press had been demanding that May call an election since the Autumn, and right up to the announcement of the exit poll that assumption continued, if with reduced expectations. But there was still no version of Brexit either promised or rejected and no Cunning Plan to impose one. Because Brexit was an emotional indulgence rather than an economic plan, it was always going to be unable to produce any sort of coherent demand. Not only did every Leaver want different things, but even individual wishlists were often contradictory. Vagueness for any Party that promised to ‘deliver’ Brexit was not only wise, it was inevitable.

  31. Chris Riley: “Rudd resigned for far less (than Esther McVey).

    Rudd resigned out of loyalty – to protect Theresa May (because of course Windrush/hostile environment was mostly May’s fault).

    Esther McVey has no such loyalty

  32. “Little Brit; I want Santa to bring me a Bike that can fly!
    Daddy Barnier; Oh that’s a lot to ask and I don’t think Santa could carry that in his Sleigh!

    Little Brit; I HATE YOU!
    Daddy Barnier; Like I didn’t know you’d say that.”
    @Peter Cairns (SNP) July 4th, 2018 at 12:47 pm

    PLEASE, more of this. It’s the most entertaing this thread’s been for ages (well if you exclude Colin’s mad ravings on Germany).

    For Colin’s benefit you may be interested in this I read the other day:
    “If China wants to come here and improve our ports and railways and build our roads, why would we stop them?”

    This is from the end:

    While Beijing’s strong movements into Ukraine are significant, the broader picture is one of China’s deep push into Europe, investing heavily in every country from Bulgaria to Norway. In the last 10 years, experts say that Chinese companies have invested at least $318 billion into Europe, representing a relentless advance on the continent.

    While some European politicians have raised red flags and leaders like Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron have said Europe needs a common strategy to manage this, for Ukraine it’s a question of economic necessity.

  33. @ COLIN – Agree the strange sense of calm – we’ve been to ‘the crunch’ so many times and heard the same stories so many times that the trenches analogy seems spot on!

    Other than ensuring May doesn’t wriggle out of her red lines the CON-Leave camp seem very happy with ERG “shelling” May from Extreme Leave side and EC ensuring May is a long way from what they’d accept on the BINO side (aided by the UK Remain camp turning the Project Fear volume back up to max)

    May is truly is stuck in home man’s land, both sides sat in their trenches continuing to shell at her from an ever widening distance, waiting for the other side to finish her off. It should be clear why no cabinet Brexiteer is going to knife her and also why EC want her to beg for BINO (which they almost certainly expect she eventually will – at which point they move the goalposts and ask for large ongoing contributions – BINO is EEA+ in their opinion so that cage will probably cost around 8bnish per year)

    The worrying thing though Is someone does have to finish her off and neither CON-Leave nor EC want to do that. Everyone wants to get on with it (whatever they view “it” as) but May is “shell shocked” and isn’t going to budge until someone makes a move to finish her.

    ERG seem fine to drag this out provided the red lines stay intact. Corbyn will be happy with the default as well. Both of them would be OK with a crash-out to WTO. Hence I’m even worried the Corbyn+ERG tag team won’t finish her off, at least not quickly enough.

    “Who will rid us of this useless PM”
    (When and how equally valid questions)

    @ PTRP – ??? “What do LDEM have to gain”

    Err, that would more MPs in the next GE – ideally enough to be kingmakers, which is plausible. Their greatest chance to do that is to get folks to see Corbyn as the “handmaiden of Brexit”. If they allow Corbyn to benefit from keeping Remainer VI then they will probably end up with even less MPs next time around (back to just two taxis rather than three!). Once we’ve left neither main party is going anywhere near a new ref (for same reasons they are avoiding it now). LDEM then have to try and be UKIP in reverse, rejoin via A49 ref. They’ve already started that campaign – the PeoplesVote just morphs into rejoin via A49 and LDEM have their doors open to LAB-Remain (and a few CON-Remain but check the VI’s – a lot less to come from CON – far more Blairites are in LAB VI than CON VI)

    P.S. Agree with what May wanted to do before the GE. I’d add that she was so confident in gaining a large majority that she went after fixing the ageing population issue as well (triple punch to pensioners). Maybe she was never suited for leadership or maybe she is suffering from some form of PTSD – my guess is a large portion of both!

    @ PETERW – The issue is how many Arch-Remain think Corbyn is going to somehow save the day. We both know that isn’t going to happen as do most folks who give it any serious thought. However, the difference between the B4B poll and current polling is IMHO this very issue. Quite a lot of Arch-Remain are hiding in LAB VI. Len just kicked the can for Corbyn but made it quite clear he has scissors ready to cut Corbyn’s strings if/when he so choices.

    The poll showed ‘LAB as Leave’ giving LDEM 22% of the vote. When May called the GE they were on about 12% (memories of student loan’s and Clegg being DC+GO’s lacky). That is a big difference, the difference between a comfortable majority for CON and a hung parliament. If May had bothered to show up and kept the GE debate focussed on Brexit then maybe LDEM would have got up near 22% (mostly at LAB’s expense given the 3/4ish of LAB VI that still want to Remain and want a new ref).

    @ DANNY – “slipping of support for Corbyn while he has been slightly on the remain side.”

    See above reply to PETERW. I agree with your observation – why do you think that is?

    My guess is the “smarter” Arch-Remain folks have realised Corbyn is not coming to the rescue (a large part of LAB’s drop is in LTV and DK, ie some uncertainty, caveat the actual drop is still small). He is not the Messiah who will stop Brexit, he is the handmaiden helping to achieve Brexit – he just wants CON to deliver it (so in his eyes he sees May as his handmaiden something CON-Leave need to ensure does not turn out to be the case!)

  34. DANNY Part II

    Tories seem to be preparing the ground as best they can to undercut labour on the left and remain sides.
    […] The only way for labour eventually to avoid this is to go remain

    The Conservatives may be making the occasional progressive noise, but they are actually following up on very few of them. They have twice made big announcements on cannabis oil for example, but they’ve not really amounted to much more than “Er, we’ll look at that”. And that is on a topic with massive public backing. Other recent promises seem as likely to be fulfilled as all those MIA manifesto pledges or the promise to rehouse all the Grenfell residents within a month. So any move to the Left is unlikely to get beyond press releases.

    As to moving to Remain, how do they sell it to their voters and members? They’re in charge of the process, if they ‘give in’ to the EU they look weak. No doubt they will try to blame the EU for everything (why change the habits of a lifetime?) but remaining then just means they are continuing to stay with those evil people. The only positions they can take is that Brexit was impossible all along or that they were useless at delivering it. Neither will be popular.

    But even if they made either of these steps, Corbyn just moves with them. But there’s no need to move before.

    I think the attacks on Corbyn about not being a remainer are more about undermining his credibility as a remainer, so that remainers will desert him for a genuinely remain party, than about trying to get to him to actually move towards remain.

    However, a declaration for full remain will always be safest the longer the effects of Brexit have to become apparent.

    Most of the attacks on Corbyn are from people who hate him because he has taken ‘their’ Labour Party and if he did shift to Hard Remain, as they are demanding, they would promptly denounce him for ‘ignoring the will of the people’ or whatever. As for the #FBPE crowd, they seem to be victims of magical thinking that Labour can somehow stop Brexit. The numbers aren’t there – if they were they would be in government. The Tory Remain MPs have consistently failed to produce the numbers to let Labour win the votes – even when they bring in people on stretchers.

    I can only assume that the same people who have spent the last three years blaming Corbyn for everything, simply can’t stop themselves, even when the reality differs. (There may also be an element of guilt involved, given that these are the same people who let Brexit happen, but that’s for another time).

    It may well be that the effects of Brexit will cause a change in public mood, but the polls aren’t showing it yet, and until they do, Corbyn is best following his current path. The strategy is to get Labour elected first and then sort things out. Of course if he did end up in power, it would be the easiest thing to claim that the Conservatives had made such a mess of Brexit that the only thing to do would be to ask the EU for a halt to the proceedings and complete renegotiation.

  35. @ VARIOUS REMAIN – HMRC will be ready for “no deal”, they have repeatedly said so, most recently less than a week ago:‘set-be-ready-no-deal-brexit’

    This absurd 20bn number is still kicking around though. We trade with rWorld and Switzerland trades with EU so we can check the numbers – the likely number (based on UK-rWorld or Swiss-EU) being nearer 2bn (or below).

    Thompson even recently admitted his 20bn number counted EU and UK side and that he had assumed businesses would not make any changes to supply chains (the status quo fallacy) – under questions he agreed that businesses would most likely start grouping packages and hence need to hold a tiny bit more inventory (ie the 200million customs declarations would drop significantly – this is how you get from his number to KPMG’s number of around 4bn or the EU-Swiss numbers that Leavers have run of around 1bn)

    It should be very clear that a core group of civil servants (mostly in Treasury) and a vocal group of major businesses and lobby groups (many of which represent foreign owners!) want to frustrate Brexit or turn UK into a vassal state – for their own interests (ie they want a Brexit for the few: the elite; big business; and their own careers).

    I’m sure HMT’s “new” analysis to be presented to cabinet on Friday will amazingly come up with them rubbish as Project Fear 1.0 and Project Fear 2.0.

    Garbage assumptions Into a model = Garbage out of a model

    Instead of brainless regurgitating of the same old nonsense under a barley visible new guise – Remain should bear in mind that Leavers were told all this rubbish back before Jun’16!

    Leavers also need to admit it won’t be entirely pain-free in the short-term and it will need a very proactive HMG to manage the risks and grasp the opportunities.

    The problem is Remain are sticking to their lies and this encourages Leave to stick to theirs! With Corbyn not supporting a new ref – Leave will win but True Br-Leavers know that is only the start of the battle – to break ne0-liberalism we need a bold “compassionate” capitalist new model, one sadly team May+Hammond will not deliver.

  36. PTRP

    @”clearly you a follower of the EU and the Germans problems seem to misunderstand the situation.”

    I think , possibly not.

    Actually the “Germans problems” have been very interesting to me.

    We see there the actions of a Member State under political stress-the pre-eminent Member State some would argue. Not The Commission, not Barnier. But an elected Leader faced with a major domestic political problem resulting from an issue arising outside the EU which affects the whole Union.

    In extremis & short of time that Leader eschewed impossible Union wide accord , turned a blind eye to a fundamental Union wide protocol, and sought BI lateral Agreements with willing parties
    . That she produced an agreement without the approval of her coalition partners, and without consulting the neighbouring Member State whose common border will be affected , thus ensuring domino effects & unilateral action by other member states is beside the point for this purpose.

    When the chips are really down & she needed to get something done EU “solidarity” & “rules” were no help to her-and she sought a coalition of the willing……………within the ” Union” !!

    On June 25, the defence chiefs from nine EU countries signed off on the creation of a new force called the European Intervention Initiative (EII), which is spearheaded by French President Emmanuel Macron. The new organization will have a common budget and a doctrine establishing its guidelines for acting and joint planning for contingencies . The group is France, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Estonia, Spain, and Portugal. -and by invitation, UK. (Italy may join soon.).

    The initiative is not tied to the EU’s Common European Defence, – PESCO .Its main mission is to offer a rapid response to crises that could threaten European security. The operations are to be conducted independently from US control. The UK will remain a member of this European defence entity even after it leaves the EU next year. Denmark, which retains a special opt-out status and has not joined PESCO, is a signatory to the EII.

    The new force is to be much more efficient than anything else the EU has to offer, with a streamlined decision-making process that will permit a quick reaction time. Its relatively small number of members will give it more flexibility in comparison with the EU or NATO. For instance, the EU’s four multinational military battle groups that were created as far back as 2007 have never been deployed.

    So again we have a similar example to the Merkel immigration initiative-a coalition of willing partners with the capabability to act.

    A coalition distinct from the EU & its own cumbersome , Union wide structure.

    When the chips are down nation states WITHIN the EU turn their backs on the empty rhetoric of Union “solidarity” & “values” -and act to achieve important national objectives .

    So I will retain a smidgeon of hope, that once Barnier has his “Rule Based” papers signed , and May has staggered off into history-new Leaders in UK will , over time, conclude agreements with EU member States which get things achieved in their mutual self interest.

  37. I quite agree with those who say MP’s should be held to account if the information they give is wrong/untrue to Parliament.
    Unfortunately after Blair and latterly Tom Watson it seems stating what you know to be untrue or are reckless as to what you say is actually true regardless of the effects on individuals in Parliament has set a president that seems to suggest it’s ok .

  38. @Turk

    Revolting whataboutery that says more about you than anyone else. Because Tom Watson was taken in by a con artist it’s ok to lie in Parliament.

    Had the allegations been about Labour figures you would be insisting that they were true and demanding investigation continued.

    As for Blair, I am sorry you are suffering from amnesia but just to remind you Blair is no longer PM because LABOUR voters couldn’t stomach him. Had his opposition merely been Conservatives he’d still be PM as they were never able to lay a glove on him. .

    A Conservative leader who lied repeatedly to the nation, – including about war – and won multiple elections would be venerated as a saint. We know that because she is.

    Our politicians are dishonest because partisans don’t punish them for it if they wear the right colours and because they punish the other team even when they tell the truth.

    So there is no point being honest. Partisans don’t care.

  39. Precedent, Turk m’boy, unless you’re on about Trump being ‘set’ in concrete, which I could agree with.

  40. @Turk

    “Unfortunately after Blair and latterly Tom Watson it seems stating what you know to be untrue or are reckless as to what you say is actually true regardless of the effects on individuals in Parliament has set a president that seems to suggest it’s ok .”

    This is pure partisan party political “whataboutery. I know you’ve admitted that you’re a former Tory Party activist, and you therefore find it impossible to look at any issue with even a smidgen of objectivity and impartiality, but can’t you see how ridiculous this all is? You’re creating a yah-boo world where every Government failure or misadventure is defended on the basis, true or otherwise, that “the other bloody lot were/are even worse”.

    It’s complete utter and tedious nonsense.


    Err, that would more MPs in the next GE

    I think it is not a well know fact that Liberal democrat are second the the Tories in more seats than they are to Labour.

    AS per 2015 they lost seats to the Tories. Indeed the point that was made was that Labour supporters lent them their vote in 2010 and then decided in both 2015 and 2017 to not let them have it back. For the Liberal Democrats to get 22 seats they need to win against Tories as you point out Labour votes are stacked in seats they have already won. Look at the data.

    This is why I ask what will they gain……because in order to get Labour votes in places where they are second such as the South West they need to persaue Labour voters (a rump of voters in such areas) to lend them their vote again If they could not win in Richmond tell me how they are going to win in Totnes Taunton and other areas where they lost more seats than the Tory majority in 2015 seats. The particularities of FPTP system doe not translate well for them beyond the rump.
    I am not saying that things cannot change but I fear that all the evidence is that Labour would need to crash to somethign like 28% and LD would need to by very close 25-27 to get a sniff at the figures you talk of which would 2010 type collapse in Labour vote.

    it is why the Tories concentrated on the South West so hard in 2015

  42. Interesting finding from the recent Panelbase Scottish poll:

  43. Another day-another late night EU “agreement” bites the dust.
    France’s “solidarity” shines out on those “migrant processing centres “.

    Does it never occur to Macron that if you are going to lecture others-you have to have credibility yourself.?

    But he is right about African emigration-the long term solution is in Africa -not at European Borders .Sebastian Kurz sees it clearly :-

    ““We need to focus on the safeguarding of our external borders as the prerequisite for a common border-free Europe,”

  44. We’re missing critical debate about the vitally important issue of bus prices!

    Luckily Corbyn was on hand to get that back at the top of the list of priorities facing the country!

    I sometimes wonder why folks give May a 10+ pt lead on best PM – then I look at the alternative, oh, that’s why!

    Back to polling. United or divided YG poll:

    LAB united/divided – net +50 for divided (even LAB VI were net +26)

    CON united/divided – net +60!!! divided (CON VI net +52)

    Pretty safe bet to say:
    1/ Brexit is the reason
    2/ Both parties know this and will avoid a new ref like the plague.

    P.S. BREXIT PLAN (for True Br-Leavers like myself – longer fully costed versions are where they need to be)

    With CON narrowly ahead in the polls the True Br-Leaver ‘Govt in waiting’ (Gove+Javid+SMogg+Hunt+co) will know they can get the +3 from UKIP and expect a ‘no-show’ from Corbyn in a snap GE with Brexit as the key issue (ie the GE we should have had if May wasn’t so useless). All we need is Barnier to laugh at May’s cake on Saturday to get her to resign (2nd part harder than it sounds unfort!) then B4B to keep up the LDEM resurgence to do the ‘job’ on Corbyn for us (+1 from 8 to 9 since the GE not a great start but I’m optimistic!) and then we can:
    1/ cut the DUP lose – give NI special status (and offer them a “One Ireland” vote, convince DUP they will win while keeping fingers crossed they will lose)
    2/ Scotland will be upset (as always) so give Scotland IndyRef2 in 2020 (with Barnett formula scrapped before hand in order to encourage a YES this time)
    3/ speak to the other face of Janus Head business and incentivise stay/expand/move to UK (ie tax cuts based on productivity enhancements, noECJ = WTO permissable state aid, some deregulation, help with move to CDS and new tariff regime with EU – minimise NTBs by staying unilaterally aligned, etc)
    4/ put 1p on higher rate tax and 1p on National Insurance (once the dust has settled put 1p on VAT – but sssshhh, don’t mention that yet) – that won’t cost any CON VI as they have nowhere to go, it might make some LAB VI abstain.
    5/ knock out the “easy” trade deals with ANZAC nations, EEA/EFTA, progress to smaller Asian and LATAM, then India, China but wait until Trump has gone for US (or wait until he really needs a “win” to show he is pro-trade and offers reasonable terms – he is back of my queue, reverse Obama stylie!)
    6/ DO NOT mess with pensioners, don’t touch them let alone triple punch them (have to wait to solve the ageing population issue). Get them out to vote in their droves (remind them they get a free bus pass to make sure they aren’t lured by Corbyn’s #1 policy)
    7/ Release the “No Deal” regional and sector plans (links with 3).
    EG1 Scrap HS2 and spend the money in Midlands/North/Wales (shores up some Home County NIMBY votes for CON and wins over some LAB in the marginal seats we need)
    EG2 Monster tax incentives for “Next Gen” manufacturing (from electric cars to more automated Agri-food to renewal energy, etc) – put some Green into Brexit (again try to win over some marginal votes)
    EG3 A few things for banks, etc (best done on the quiet so I won’t elaborate)
    8/ Back to Scotland – don’t mention scrapping Barnett formula until after we’ve won the GE, in fact remove #2 for now – in the short-term use fishing and the “precious” Union, etc to keep SCON MP seats and possibly add a couple (it is the Conservative and Union party still – for now anyway, one thing at a time!) SNP will probably win back seats from SLAB but that doesn’t bother the True Br-Leavers.

    Sound good? Right, let’s get on with me. Cabinet Brexiteers need to tie May to getting quick acceptance of fairly generous cake offer – which will be refused – that is the sole objective from the pyjama party! Removing her is the difficult bit (Hammond and G.Clark easy to remove once she is gone, everyone else that wants to stay will fall into line and we need some room for like of Patel, Cleverly, etc) – after that the rest is easy.
    P.P.S. If Boris wants to resign great – saves the new PM sacking him day1 (one thing Boris can be relied upon is to give a strong PM an excuse to sack him on a near daily basis).

  45. @COLIN

    The point that you have arguing is that it is in the individual members interest to get us a deal that we would like and is not the same as we buy their BMWs etc and so we must give them a favourable deal. My point was where they agree and to this point despite what many people have said would happen they have agreed a position on the UK which seems not to suggest the view that you have. Indeed this feels very similar to that of the Swiss situation whereby CoM stuck to a simple formula,

    As I pointed out to you that the EU bends the rules for themselves WITHIN the union they sometimes do unilateral things indeed I pointed out the fact that the Germans have a organisation in Army where they control a dutch tank battalion incidentally that uses German Army Tanks) a Czech republic Unit and a Romanian Brigade. All bilaterally indeed this was agreed well before the UK wanted to leave so what is new here?

    As I said we left because of politics mostly internal politics and the response has been political. We can hope but I think the simple problem we have is that we need them more than they need us and we have been trying to counter that since from the EU referendum campaign. If we were being pragmatic abot all of this we would not be leaving in my view but we are and we are trying and hoping that someone cuts us some slack when actually I believe it is not in the organisations or individual members interest to do so.

    part of me wants to believe you but having watched the Greek situation and the Swiss situation unfold and how the Cananda deal went I can’t see it. indeed every example I have that is of the same consequence says the opposite.

    But as I have said reality takes care of itself and I could be wrong but I don’t have evidence of it. We are not in the EU we voted out If we want what I think we want then it would be a EEA, otherwise it would be Canada. What I find amusing is that was the options at the beginning and despite ‘our’ hope as we trundle on this is what is on offer now of the major countries that we would have thought that would be most keen to sort this out (Netherlands and Germany) I don’t see any movement. What’s more we are still arguing amongst ourselves what Brexit really means.

    I would add this if we accept the EEA type solution I would personally be livid since it was a waste of two years two elections and a referendum about taking back control only to have none. At least we should be consistent we voted out and that means a third party. EA is not a compromise it is worst of all worlds no control no vote political stupidity that does not solve any of the problems we have.


    1. Firstly I believe after the LibDems fiasco of being coalition members no political party would do anything like that again They only have to look at the 8 LibDem MP to tun a mile from anything that the Tories offer. The DUP will keep the Tories at arms length and will defend ‘their’ corner because the alternative is them losing any leverage they have.

    2. I think being hostile o the union would mean that the Tories lose their vote in Scotland and I am not sure they gain anyhting more in England and Wales. Just think of it 60% of voters in scotland voted for unionist parties I think those 10 seats they needed to be even in with a sniff of power goes to someone else. hell I don’t think it would be even close you’d be p155ing off your own voters for christsake

    3.Ok this one is interesting actually WTO have strict rules on state intervention too, Hell Airbus and Boeing fought lengthy battles in the WTO courts as an example. tax cuts based on productivity but how when the we are 80 services and yet the 10% that is manufacturing produces 50% of our exports. This either means an expansion of manufacturign because it is efficient or doing services differently (most services companies don’t serve more than 50km form home is one of the interesting fact surrounding why goods and manufacturing still dominate exports and imports. You cannot expot cutting your hair or mowing your lawn.
    The other items is BINO…….or am I missing something here

    4. Why would it make Labour voters abstain. What would they say you would have done it anyway. Indeed part of the problem is that there is not a majority of the Tories in favour of this indeed the cabinet of the will already is against this. There is a war going on between low tax tories and the rest.

    5.If the mess of splitting tariffs between the EU and the UK are anything to go by I think it is going to be not a case f knocking them out. If the US Embassy documentary was anything to go by people are licking their chops.

    6. Wow something that makes sense. I can see Tories doing this actually I can see all parties doing this.

    7. I agree that this would help would it win votes I am not sure

    some of this is just fanciful the Tories can’t agree on the extra money for the NHS and where it will come from. If austerity is dead then why would Labour supporters vote Tory why not have the full fat version especially if the cost is the same.

    Indeed I can see much here in what you have written to rip the tories apart as much as brexit has and you you f#@ked off your only allies and where you managed to scrap enough seats to actually have a C&S with your only allies.

    WTF are you thinking………Or am I missing the whole jedi mind trick.

  47. PTRP
    Re. Taking back control and EEA.

    The more I watch the current government and indeed the official opposition, both of whom substitute wishful thinking for actual policy, the more I think that the less control we have over our own affairs the better!

  48. PTRP

    On the outcome of the Brexit Trade relationship-I don’t claim that ” it is in the individual members interest to get us a deal that we would like .

    I was musing about the dynamics of future relationships -post Brexit.

    At present Barnier defines the Trade relationship for them in negotiations . Neither you nor I know what input the Member States will finally have. It is hugely complex & I don’t pretend to understand the key issues at corporate & customs level.

    [email protected]”I think the simple problem we have is that we need them more than they need us ” Well that will lead you to be a Remainer-clearly. I didn’t have a clear handle on that question ( in Trade terms) at the Referendum . There was sod all enlightenment in the Campaign debates so I didn’t vote. I still don’t know whether your view is right or not. Actually I kind of think that seeing our future in those terms -“need” for/by the EU-militates against any view other than Remain.

    re @”I would add this if we accept the EEA type solution I would personally be livid ”

    Me too -I think !

  49. Those people talking about loss of democracy in trading areas fail to realise that trading areas necessitate that you don’t set rules on your own. However when many democratic countries pool their sovereignty the loss of democracy is surely not very important – the key thing is that the law is set considering a broad set of interest groups, and that the rule of law is applied without favour.

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