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. The tragedy in Scotland is very sad and words fail in terms of the cruelty that someone could kill a six year old.

  2. “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.”

    I think we would have plenty. The EEA is simply a regulatory union that allows an efficient market to operate.

  3. “The poll showed ‘LAB as Leave’ giving LDEM 22% of the vote. When May called the GE they were on about 12% … That is a big difference,”

    Indeed it is. But the difference is between 12 and 22 only. You’re still not really addressing the point that it isn’t there in the policy positions*.

    The poll showed ‘LAB as Leave’ giving LDEM 22%. The reality of ‘LAB as Leave’ gave LDEM less than 9%.

    This is a polling site and it’s not in my nature to diss polls. But they do have to defer to reality. If a hypothetical in an opinion poll and an actual vote in a general election are that far at odds, the poll has to defer.

    And when a poll like this one is so far at odds not with somebody’s opinion but with reality, I really will dismiss it out of hand. I don’t really care what is going wrong with the question or the model.

    It may be electors who still, despite everything, think Labour is current remain. It may be your simultaneously naif and Machiavellian “arch-Leavers” planning on deserting in droves when the scales fall from the eyes. It may just be people being perverse on purpose. It may be all three.

    Whatever it is, the result is too far away from what we know the real world position to be, from an election, to be credible, and to extrapolate any conclusions at all.

    *- actually it is. It’s there in the LIBDEM position, which in the GE was for another vote, but in the hypothetical is for remain, which nis further than they’ve yet dared to go. I don’t think this is the reason for much if any of the 10%, but it might be I suppose.

  4. TW
    I was surprised by JC channeling the spirit of Reg Varney until I read that daily bus journeys outnumber train journeys by huge amounts, and from what little experience I have seem to be largely made by the over sixties who travel for free, are inclined to not only turn out to vote but to vote Tory when they do so, and will be the first to notice and to tell everyone about it when the council withdraw the funding and they can’t get around any more. Regardless of the colour of the council making the cuts, pointing out that it all comes down to central Tory austerity helps to drum the message home.

    May generally saves the Labour in Wales motif until about question three, that she used it for her first answer was telling, I thought. She really hadn’t seen that one coming, and will need to do better than that as the Brexitmobile clatters down the road to the tune of Three Wheels on my Wagon.

  5. TED,

    A chance to push the U26 free bus pass policy which Labour hope will help capture Youth votes.

    Especially as I expect some modification of the fee policy, perhaps taking back to £3K or maybe £4-5K.

  6. @ PTRP – FPTP and UNS based models give very different predictions to “bottom-up” seat analysis.

    LDEM top 20 targets (those with a swing of <11.9%):

    With UNS, LDEM's main targets break down as

    1/ NATS – Fife NE (#1), Ceredigion (#3), maybe +2 but of little interest to CON-Leave. It's NAT-LDEM battle (ie like-like).
    2/ CON seats – Richmond Park #2 (Zac is a liability and Heathrow is happening – gone no matter what). S.West and other areas that are retiree hot spots (high house prices and net an older demographic, coastal, etc (#4, 6,7,8,10,11,13,15,16,18). LDEM might regain Southport, Hazel Grove but with the right policies (see my 6:48pm, specifically not punching pensioners, we'll keep the rest thank you very much!)
    SUMMARY OF CON – LDEM. LDEM gain (CON lose) 1-3 PROVIDED CON adopt the correct policies and fight the GE this time (ie we have a new leader)
    3/ LAB seats – Uni seats (5,9,20). LDEM might regain as new students adopt the tail-end of Corbynmania in same way 2015/17 students adopted tail-end of Clegg-mania
    LDEM win 1-3 (or not), as CON-Leave should say "bothered". #19 Bermondsey – London acts like a different country but again it is Red v Orange (ie "bothered")

    So UNS shows CON at risk but if you look at the policies required to keep those seats then CON are going to lose 1-3 to LDEM. CON will take back with extras #1,2,3,4,8 in LDEM defence (assuming they buy the right votes!)
    You should note all (as in all 12!) LDEM seats are held with under 10% margin! SNP and LAB can fight over the over 7!

    So onto "bottoms-up" models, tactical voting, etc for which you'll need a proper model or some basic understanding of what happens when you get to split the opposition vote (eg as SNP did in 2015 GE!)

    Folks like SHEVII understand that. In the best possible case we have next GE in Autumn'18 with:
    1/ CON with new PM, united team wanting Clean Brexit
    2/ LAB still with Corbyn who goes AWOL, talks about buses, etc and when put on the spot by new CON PM who turns up to debate gets boxed into BINO (or fully outed as a Leaver – the first one is actually better IMHO but it's close)
    3/ LDEM/Green – PeoplesVote and people believe it (seriously some folks do actually still believe Brexit can be stopped!)
    4/ SNP – IndyRef2 (do they actually have anything else to offer in a UK GE?)

    This goes back to the GE we should have had. The one where CON were supposed to get a huge majority. It's not about UNS and FPTP as much as LDEM pulling Remain votes away from LAB (and other new 2017 LAB voters going back to not voting). It's also about totally removing UKIP – for good!

    Look into the following seats:
    1/ Dudley North (UKIP don't stand, LDEM used to be 10% now less than 1% = 99% sure that turns blue)
    2/ Canterbury (LDEM used to be 32%, now 8%, students see Corbyn duped them and DNV or switch to LDEM = 99% sure that turns blue)
    I could go on up to about 50 with decreasing %s down to 50/50.

    Make sense? It's not about losing a few seats (which CON probably will) it's about getting all the LAB seats we should have got in 2017 (and a few we lost to LDEM and should have gained from LDEM)

    You can even see this in UNS based models! Try Electoral Calculus and increase LDEM % at expense of 3/4 LAB and 1/4 CON.

    Finally 2017 had some mild evidence of tactical voting (ie B4B's "Unite Against the Tories" did have some success). Also the only demographic that dropped in turnout was old folks (hence why the ageing population issue is going to have to wait – no triple punch in Autumn'18 GE!!)

    It is hence vital that CON-Leave have an Autumn'18 GE (the one we should have had in 2017). The tricky parts are:
    a/ getting May to go "quietly"
    b/ ensuring the likes of Grieve don't bottle it, with DUP pact (which unfort new-CON would probably keep going) we need 7+ CON-Remain to vote with Corbyn+others (if it comes to a confidence vote would Hoey, Field etc vote for Gove or Javid? OK, let's make it 10+ CON-Remain to be sure)

    b/ might negate a/ (ie we actually need to "knife" May in order to get Grieve+co to oblige).

    P.S. This is about getting the message out. Thank you for giving me the oppo to explain in more depth – too many in CON-Leave (and ERG) simply want to wait and see. I'm done waiting (as I respect a lot of businesses are).

  7. 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.

    Ok I believe there will be bilateral deal on the periphery there always has been and their always will be none of that has changed what happens at the core. Or am I missing something here.

    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.

    Barnier is the spokesperson for the CoM he reports to them they give him instructions this bit is not complex, so going back to your first point the central core of our problem still remains our core requirement butt against that of the core requirements of the E. If Barnier is not there you deal with the CoM and at this point in time nothing is happening that is basically in our favour Barnier is not the gate keeper

    [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.

    Apologies I was being facetious to make a point. The argument has been that we have enough leverage to get a better deal TREVOR WARNE endless list of canada ++++/swiss—- deals, we have had leave arguing vociferously that they need us more than we need them. The reality is that I believe that we have less leverage than we hoped and as I said now leave supporter are more sanguine about the issues that are presented in front of them. As I note your posts are somewhat. We are now saying it is not about strength of position or card to play we just want to be friends.

    That is not a remainer position it is a position of someone that has to go and work in EU. We are where we are and yes I opposed Brexit and still do but there is nothing I can do to change it it is like Iraq you can’t unwind it.

    Me too -I think !

    But for different reasons, politically this hurts the Tories if it goes belly up. The electorate never blames itself. Politicians never blame the electorate. however this is one of our own making.So we need to man up. As I said we dn’t want Canada because that hurt our economy we don’t want EEA because that is not the Brexit we were promised as PETER CAIRNS( SNP) post humourously pointed out we are in no mans land between two disappointments.

    EEA would be a disaster because it would be worse than leaving in the sense that we are trading a seat t the table a vote and a veto for basically what will happen is following the rules because they are our biggest trading partner and having little say in them be it in the EEA or Canada style. he only way for them to have less influence is to make ourselves poorer I am not sure that is a win (it does not pay my mortgage for one)

  8. EEA is simply the membership of a big market with our neighbours. It is far from a disaster, in fact we have been in this for a long time. It is the only sensible arrangement that is possible (if we must leave the EU) but not to worry about that as its a good arrangement.

  9. @Jim Jam

    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.

    That is not actually my position. Short of an earthquake I think we are stuck with leaving the EU. No one, however, has actually defined what that means. So politicians need to define what they would like it to leave, check out that something like this would be OK with the EU and then negotiate it with the EU and sell it to the electorate.

    Personally I would define leaving the EU as leaving the political project and a ‘good deal’ as something that achieved as much of this as possible while leaving in place as much of everything else as possible. In practice there would be all kinds of limitations on my ‘good deal’ – paying for it and having to cede some control of the borders for example. So the electorate would need to be aware that red lines would need to be blurred etc etc. Instead of this it seems to me that people believe in endless cake and that this nonsense has infected our negotiators as well as our electorate,


    1.I think that the scenario you have conjured is improbable,
    2. if you look at battle ground places you are after a huge swing to Liberals when nothing like this has happened
    3. I believe that there will not be another election until after Brexit and either we have EA membership style deal or Canada and then it would be down to domestic policy and the fact that any fallout can be blamed on the incumbent government.

    4. The Tories are split on policy outside of the deal of Brexit the ERG wants a low tax low regulation economy and would want a Canada deal to do it.

    5 We agree that Canada is worse than staying.

    6 EEA is politically unacceptable to Tories

    7. If May was bold I would go for EEA membership saying we are not in the EU and yet we have preserved jobs etc and dare the party to vote it down. it would mean you have your no deal as the alternative is to use her jedi mind trick and get labour to come of the fence.

    And yes 7 is equally as implausible as yours but I thought I’d give it a go


    I think that we have no veto on rules, we will be rule taker rather than maker which was the whole point of this multiyear struggle or have I missed something in the last two years……

    In one sense for remainers it is better than nothing but actually it becomes a what was the point.


    I have just read your last comment so in that sense I agree
    I still say WTF was the point?

  13. @CHARLES

    I think you are blaming the electorate here!!!

    Well me too, I think it has not been helped by the lack of proper political debate and apportioning of blame correctly. But we are where we are and I think that the politicians are trying do the best job they can in one sense they need to keep their jobs and their parties intact and keep the voters onside. Until the voters change their minds there is not a politician that will say their voters were wrong (OK harriett harperson did and it was Labours darkest hour abstaining on the welfare bill when afterward Tories ripped it up what was she thinking)


    Make sense? It’s not about losing a few seats (which CON probably will) it’s about getting all the LAB seats we should have got in 2017 (and a few we lost to LDEM and should have gained from LDEM)

    Basically you are saying Labour gets 28% of the vote as per the ‘polls’, Tories get 42% and liberal democrats get in the 22%

    So yes it makes sense if I believe that Labour can poll less than 30% The number fit.

    I think that this is a massive reach however more massive than your normal ones to be honest…….

    But hey whatever

  15. Jimjam
    I’d forgotten about the u26 passes, I’m sure they will be very useful for young folk in London, but can’t imagine my kids getting excited about getting stranded in town after about seven in the evening here in cash strapped Northamptonshire.

    I’m still struggling to imagine apathetic youth uniting with stranded Tory pensioners out in the true blue villages and suburbs to rise up against Grayling, but it could happen, I suppose.

  16. TW

    I appreciate your no fan of May but the one thing I can say is at least within my old stamping ground of Dorset there is no appetite for May to go amongst the Tory party members nor is there anywhere near enough brexiteers amongst the Tory MPs to unseat her.
    The feeling is that May will have to sack those cabinet members who do not sign up to a united front after Friday although it will happen in the form of resignation Boris being the main candidate.
    Incidentally Boris standing within the party has taken a catastrophic nose dive he has almost entered that dead man standing role at least amongst Tory party membership in Dorset
    Personally I think the hard line brexiteers are nowhere near as strong as they look ,certainly it’s true the media has given them more credibility for defining brexit than perhaps they have within the party.
    However they have a stark choice push for a no deal brexit with the possibility of ushering in a Labour Government which certainly wouldn’t negotiate what they want or compromise with May and go for a softer form of brexit my guess is the majority will fall in line.


    Interestingly I think you are right but I don’t think it is just about policy that make sense. The point is that your Tory pensioner at the moment is going to vote Tory but suburban Tory that might use the night bus to outer london or Manchester or other metropolitan area may think well actually that help me. I live outside Bristol getting a bus into Town and getting home againa after a night out make sense. My constituency is North Somerset (yes the odious Liam Fox) now whilst it may not change some districts I reckon it will give the youth in say portshead and Clevedon Nailsea etc a better lifestyle and that may chnaging voting patterns.

    Now it won’t change situation in many places that you described but I would contend it doe not have to. Just giving the choice sometimes can change ones view.

    The point being it is easy to deliver cost very little in monetary terms and adds to the pro youth cache.

  18. @ LAB VI – Corbyn “on the buses” is about 1 thing and 1 thing only.

    Corbyn DOES NOT want a GE before Brexit day (29 Mar’19)

    WAKE UP!!!

    Any CON tuning in should be very aware of the same thing – we have nothing to fear from a new GE (well apart from Zac Goldsmith perhaps) – instead we have everything to gain – next time it will Corbyn who is a “no show” not the new CON leader!!!

    May had her chance and she blew it – big time!

    The NEXT CON leader can learn from all her mistakes (that is a very long list but start by showing up for a GE, especially if you orchestrate it – as you seriously need to!!)

  19. TED: What’s the latest with Northamptonshire CC? I must confess that, despite living only about ten miles from the Northamptonshire border, I haven’t a clue what’s going on there.

  20. profhoward: EEA is simply the membership of a big market with our neighbours. It is far from a disaster, in fact we have been in this for a long time. It is the only sensible arrangement that is possible (if we must leave the EU) but not to worry about that as its a good arrangement.

    I would disagree. In the static sense, you are right that it gives us what we had before. For me, it would solve my problems over FoM

    But the dynamics are that the EEA must follow the EU slavishly over most things. And we will be in the EEA with no say on the initiatives from the EU which must be followed. So I would only expect more bent banana stories from Johnson and a concerted campaign over years to lever us out of the EEA and to No Deal, in part because the mass of voters for brexit will not see through the brexiters arguments. Do you really want this to go on for years more?

    In truth, unless people make it plain that they wish to remain before we actually leave, it is probably better to have a short sharp no deal brexit and take the consequences such as the break up of the UK and then for the fragments to sort out their own way forward.

  21. TW: The very fact that you believe there is no risk to an early election is conclusive proof that the Tories aren’t learning from their mistakes.

  22. Charles,

    Forgive me but what you are advocating is LP policy more or less but they have to include some desires that would be negotiated away, in particular external trade deals, which of course leads to charges of cakeism.

    I think you are keener on a referendum than LP official policy but key point is that Labour want a meaningful vote in the HOC as a priority but haven’t rules out ever asking for a referendum or supporting a Government call for one.

    TED/PTRP – don’t forget the green vote, which Labour would like to vote for them tactically, that would like the U26 bus pass policy.

  23. “But the dynamics are that the EEA must follow the EU slavishly over most things. And we will be in the EEA with no say on the initiatives from the EU which must be followed. So I would only expect more bent banana stories from Johnson and a concerted campaign over years to lever us out of the EEA and to No Deal, in part because the mass of voters for brexit will not see through the brexiters arguments. Do you really want this to go on for years more?”

    We only would have to follow EU standards on traded goods which are sensible in 99.9% of cases so not a big price to pay in return for being in the single market with all its advantages..

  24. @Jim Jam I’ll certainly forgive you, if that is necessary! It is very clear that you know a lot more about Labour policy than I do and you put your knowledge to the service of this site,

    My worry about Labour is that whatever its policy is, it is widely seen as sitting on the fence and wishing to have the best of all worlds. It is also perceived possibly wrongly that JC always really wanted Brexit. The result of this fudged image is that although people rightly see the Tories as making a complete hash of the negotiations they also seem to feel that Labour would do even worse,

  25. @ProfHoward: “I think we would have plenty. The EEA is simply a regulatory union that allows an efficient market to operate.”

    Where to start? There is an argument for that as regards free movement of goods taken in isolation. As Christopher Booker often points out, goods tend to be subject to international standards anyway, and they are not that interesting.

    But beyond that, there is much more.

    1. State Aid – EU sets rules. Norway is insignificant to the EU – but with the UK it will get to set the rules for a major competitor.
    2. Financial services. The EU would like to bring business from the UK and will be in charge of setting regulation for the UK. It will have no duty to be in the least bit concerned about UK interests – and, seriously, the whole transition bit shows it will quite enjoy imposing rules on us. As such arch remainers such as Lord Hill (and allegedly Mark Carney) have said: it would not be a good position to be in.
    3. Free movement.
    4. The EU gets to define what the Single Market means.
    5. And we haven’t even got to the bit where the EU says that EEA is not enough – it has to be Customs Union.
    6. Nor the bit where the EU says that the rule that the UK absolutely must not be in the same position as an actual member state does not apply to fisheries – somehow being a third country will be no bar to being in the Common Fisheries Policy, the EU will insist on it.

    Now, Mr Booker said that this was fine as the UK is not Norway, and could not be pushed around. The EU has said that the UK is not Norway, in that it is systemically important to the EU, so it will push the UK around. (And, frankly, staying in the EEA will be a clear signal that the EU can do what it wants to the UK, and we’ll just carry on pretending that everything is rosy.)

    The problem with the EEA option is that it is profoundly undemocratic. It does involve important powers. It can create real conflicts. It is likely to do so as between the UK and the EU unless the EU treats the UK very carefully and respectfully. Which means the EU has to be worried about the UK reacting to the EU abusing its dominant position by walking away.

    Now, what exactly in these negotiations makes you think the EU will use its powers so as to ensure that everything stays sweet?

    Or do you just think the UK will put up with generations of future Barniers and Verhofstedts telling us that we must do as we are told or else?

    The EEA solution must collapse. Whether into an actual Brexit or re-entry is another matter. It is a good gambit for those aiming at the latter.

  26. @Danny @ Roger Mexico

    I am not sure about Motivation but my perception is that the most extreme views on Brexit are held by conservative leave voters and Labour remainers The majority of Con Leavers foresee a very rosy future for the UK after Brexit while hardly any foresee hard times or the loss of international influence, Precisely the opposite is true for the Labour remainers, Con remainers and Labour leavers both tend to make predictions in line with their leave or remain vote but are decidedly less definite eiher way,

  27. profhoward: We only would have to follow EU standards on traded goods which are sensible in 99.9% of cases so not a big price to pay in return for being in the single market with all its advantages..

    You know that, I know that. But my argument is that the usual suspects will still agitate by misrepresentation of sensible standards to take us out of the EEA.

    So the EEA is not really a stable solution.

  28. PTRP

    You do like the last word don’t you ?

    You ARE Carfrew-and I claim my Tariff Free Brexit Storage Permit.

  29. Technicolouroctober: it is probably better to have a short sharp no deal brexit and take the consequences such as the break up of the UK and then for the fragments to sort out their own way forward.

    Yes. As brexiteers like @joseph1832 make clear, relegation to the second division won’t lance the boil, but simply leave it festering away. Only a cold dose of reality stands any chance of ridding the country of its delusions (and delusionist politicians).

  30. @ TURK – you highlight the one tricky part that I have mentioned several times.

    May needs to resign – knifing her is risky.

    My concern is no one will resign or be fired on Friday. Somehow fudge will return and May will survive into the Summer recess.

    If CON limp on with May in charge, slowly being dragged into BINO then it is GAME OVER for CON – maybe ERG+Corbyn eventually take her out but by then it is too late.

    We’ll continues losing semi-skilled jobs to E.Europe/Turkey due to being in a/the CU. The economics of the currency and a modest uptick in EU growth is dealing with immigration so I’m not concerned by that (we need a new immigration policy but not a UKIP one). Trump’s trade war might escalate though and we are on the biggest loser side within the EU – we should be neutral.

    We’ll also have p155ed off a large chunk of 17.4million voters who voted Leave. Corbyn will be able to walk in to the economic and democratic mess that May created.

    FWIW here’s latest on Trump:

    Unfort Trump is falling for same mistake as Cameron and May (and a few Leave on here). Germany will do its own deals on immigration etc but they will not split with EC on trade – that would break rules but also not be in their best interests. The EU is working for them. They will “take one for the team” over Brexit and with Trump. Merkel is also pretty much as weak as May right now – even if she could help she is too weak to do so. Macron+Juncker are in charge and they are arch-federalists putting the “project” above all else – Juncker is retiring soon and Macron has a long shelf-life. They can and will take the pain of a trade war and a crash-out Brexit (although they’d be happier with BINO)

    I get your concerns. This is why Javid might be the least bad new CON leader. Gove is too toxic. Javid has the benefit of being a “convert”, Gove doesn’t. Basically Javid can be everything May was supposed to be.
    (I’m not sure he will be but May has set the bar very low! IMHO Javid inherited a mess in H.Sec with very easy decisions to make, he’d make a good CoE but he lacks the charisma and strength required to be PM. Problem is, everyone else is worse or a total newb)

    @ PTRP – OMG, you really do not get it do you. My “dark side” half hopes we end up with Corbyn inheriting a clean Brexit. My kids will get free uni fees, I’m pretty sure how the markets will react, and when Corbyn’s rainbow unicorns die and his money trees move abroad (I’ll be one of those while I’m still working) your student debt gets sold to a German bank (or one I buy shares in) – they’ll squeeze that money out of you just as hard as they have out of the Greeks. You’ll be the one left in a vassal state, competing with Slovakians and Albanians on wages, repaying every penny of your student debt and with London no longer the capital of Global Finance. I’ll be close enough to 55 to not give a sh1t to be honest, semi-retired as it is, and after Uni my kids will be geographically mobile so they won’t need to give a sh1t either.

    If you want the Real Project Fear, there it is – Corbyn inherits a Clean Brexit! Maybe that is what UK deserves – I truly hope not, I hope for the best but for sure I have a plan for the worst!

  31. Joseph
    The state aid rules are quite sensible in a single market – otherwise you get a race to the bottom. Free movement is something we benefit from as it allows us better to take up work elsewhere. The rules of the single market do need to be determined and set but since the EU is a large body with many plural interest groups determining them they are going to be reasonable rules. The UK is not Norway – we are much much poorer than Norway and we would suffer a lot of economic damage leaving the single market. The EEA is the only available option that does not impose major economic costs and losses, and does not lead to problems on the border.

  32. Whatever the Cabinet agree this weekend is somewhat of a side show since it is not on the table. When T May comes back from Brussels she will have something very similar to EEA/CU membership, with different branding. Parliament will vote for it.

  33. Prof – I think EEA does not include agriculture (Norway at least) which means membership on its’ own won’t ensure a soft border on the island of Ireland.

  34. JimJam

    That’s right EEA isn’t enough, its necessary to have a CU as well to avoid the border problem. The CU membership is a great advantage in any case as it simplifies trade across the board for our businesses.

  35. Nick Watt is not reliable.

  36. TW
    “Make sense?”

  37. PollTroll
    My thesis on Northamptonshire is in moderation, I’ll try to work out why in the morning

  38. Meanwhile, away from Brexit, Novichok is on the streets of the UK again. Awful for the seemingly random victims, let’s hope they recover.

    It’s all getting a bit bizarre. Though it’s still highly likely that whatever is going on, it’s some devious plan coming not a million miles from the Kremlin, but the motivation is becoming even more obscure (which is perhaps the point). It is the stuff of dreams for conspiracy theorists.

    Probably won’t have much effect on VI, but maybe there’ll be some realisation that whatever strong words and actions were taken on the Skripal incident, we are actually a little powerless against people and states which choose to ignore international rules and conventions.

  39. PH

    “Whatever the Cabinet agree this weekend is somewhat of a side show.”

    Correct. The main thing to look forward to this weekend is the weekly appearance of TOH. I can’t wait to find out how his allotment is doing or where he went for a walk with his wife.

  40. @COLIN

    You made a set of point which to me made no sense. I wanted to understand what you were getting at. So I responded to your comments

    You said my comment was classis remainer or some such my point ws that whether we were remainers or leavers we are on the same lifeboat indeed I was being facetious in stating they need us more than we need them trope and in a sense was not the issue I was trying to address. I wanted tonderstand where you were going with the idea that because the Germans make side deals and deal that are not core to the EU do you think that they will make side deals for the UK in say trade or FoM or some such. My point being I could not see it and in all fairness I am not sure that is what you stated.

    You pointed out once that rationale behind your thought processes and ideals and why they were different to ALEC once I found that refreshing in terms of how you described yourself with respect to ALEC whom like me had worked and lived abroad extensively whereas you had not and number of things that differentiates your experience form others. So when I describe my experience as a black londoner whos 52 and has been brought up through the no dog no Irish no blacks experience I am not expecting you to understand indeed when I pointed out an issue to yourself you became very angry with me. So I need to understand. I am sorry if that offends you but for example I found it ironic you loved the statement form Javid that Labour did not have a monopoly off outrage on the Windrush policy. When it was his boss which pushed it. It is almost as it were absolving one own side of blame whilst accusing the other side that raised this issue of making politics out of it. As you see we have very different views but my point of campaigning for remain and Iraq (yes I am 0 for 2) is that I wanted to engage in debate with those who are not like me I want to understand why you feel the way you do and indeed you comment to ALEC was insightful.

  41. As to Corbyn not wanting an election before March 2019, people were saying he and the Labour Party did not want an election before the last one was called, including some on here.

    Far from backing away from it the Labour Party helped the Government in getting the election. Perhaps people’s memories are fading but back then many were predicting political meltdown for Labour with just a rump of M.P.’s left. But they still went for the election, not only went for it but grabbed it with both hands and sang the hallelujah chorus.

    Any one who thinks they will not support another election when they are only a couple of points behind in the polls at anytime is deluding themselves

  42. Those who were talking further up the thread about a Celtic connection ( not the music festival) may be interested in this piece from today’s Irish Times.

  43. Mr Gove’s claims of “taking back control” of fisheries policy are right up to a point. The point being that control will involve negotiations with the EU.

    Will there be any more of this?

    Before anyone tries to hit me with a wet fish I have my doubts

  44. Trigguy,
    It has always seemed to me that the attempt by the authorities to finger Putin with the Skripal poisoning has owed more to conspiracy theory than any actual evidence. At this moment I am hearing a spokesman repeat the same flimsy arguments and contradictory theories about how it was administered, and how it is both deadly and instant yet slow acting and not deadly..

    I think Putin is quite capable of ordering the murder of an ex double agent. But ex double agents have many enemies.

    What seems certain to me is that Putin would not initiate an attack during the World Cup, when the news about Russia has been so positive. Putin’s enemies on the other hand?

  45. @ TW

    Your scenario on new Tory leader with possibly a new election based on ramping up a hard Brexit rhetoric would possibly have made sense were it not for the 9 months Brexit deadline and an even shorter period for negotiations and preparation. It’s too late now.

    I think Labour sitting on the fence was always going to lead onto the eventual “we wouldn’t have done it this way” argument that would have enough appeal to both leave and remain. We’re now in the situation where Labour can look anyone in the eye with conviction and say “we really, really, really wouldn’t have done it this way”.

    May has made a huge mistake in not confronting the Tory demons a year sooner, take the pulse of the party and force her choice on the party and negotiate and plan on that basis whether it be hard Brexit of BINO. She had the threat of Corbyn and the fact that no-one else wants the job on her side and if that wasn’t enough to convince them then she should have walked away.

    I think the other mistake is that patching up differences is irrelevant if the economy tanks. Ultimately the economy decides elections and the Brexit delays for preparation/allowing business to prepare and getting the best deal possible means the economy will be in real trouble now whichever way she goes.

    On Corbyn- we’ve seen things like referendum vote and Trump have short term effects on “the markets” but I suspect that your belief that Corbyn is going to do something ultra radical that collapses the markets is misplaced. Economically he will have to compromise his beliefs and politically he will have to compromise his beliefs. We’ll see some limited nationalisations that will be popular and for the best and some limited wealth redistribution that will be popular and for the best.

  46. Trigguy
    “maybe there’ll be some realisation that whatever strong words and actions were taken on the Skripal incident, we are actually a little powerless against people and states which choose to ignore international rules and conventions.”

    I seem to recall in amongst the endless speculation last time that it was said that this stuff is relatively hard to administer effectively and goes off quite quickly, yet acts very quickly when touched directly.

    Which begs the obvious questions of why Putin would want these folk to be targeted? Was it an accident, if so then why was no one else accidentally affected? Would the reds really do this to throw us off the scent? Regardless of the nationality of the perpetrator, the modus operandi immediately looks more like a lone operator than the Russian state, and its being done during the biggest propaganda spectacular Putin is ever likely to achieve doesn’t look like good management, more like somebody trying to discredit him. Possibly. If it’s from the same batch then the Russian theory makes no sense.


    Not sure who’s been saying Labour don’t want an election, but I do tend to skip the longer and more impenetrable posts on here, but agree that they would welcome it if it were on offer.

    Which is why the Tories, for all their public infighting, will pull together if necessary to prevent it. The FTPA enables them to step back from the brink at any point in a way that the Brexit timetable doesn’t, and Labour would welcome a second referendum, regardless of what they say publicly, equally if not more, since this will afford the spectacle of the Tories tearing one another apart and retoxifying the brand without the need for Labour to do anything at all.

    I’ve been told off on here before for assuming that everyone enjoys sunshine. Personally I love it and hope we have many more sunny days to come. To everyone who does so also I hope you have a lovely day, and will add the sentiment for those who don’t also.


    You sound like Tony Blair when Jacque Chirac pointed out the dangers of even a successful Iraq……..He said of Jacque Chirac he does not get it does he

    I find it amusing however back to serious part. Let’s accept Corbyn is going to be a disaster and must be stopped the issue I have is whether what you need to happen and the scenario is practicable given the polling and the evidence we have. My point is there is a difference between wishing for something and it actually happening and my view is that the scenario you paint is implausable at best I point that Labour has to drop 9% from the worst set of polling that we have and that the Tories have not only to hold firm but LD must win huge swings in marginal seats to let the Tories in.

    You argue that the Tories will win the seats that they lost last time and Labour will lose 50+ seats. Irrespective of what political party you support that is analysis does not stand up to any scrutiny and has to go down as wishful thinking. Now I accept that you are an ardent Leaver and Tory and clearly an Anyone but Corbynite. but clear your mind and go through your analysis takee away the prejudice and tell me it makes sense.

    I am saying that it does not make sense. You will need enough planetary alignment to have a permanent eclipse on the dark side of the moon.

    The more probable situation is that irrespective of Brexit the election will be close I don’t think Corbyn gets the largest party but I think the arithmetic might favour him to form a loose coalition reality will take care of itself.

    As to Brexit I believe your argument has been Brexit makes sense if Tories win but not if Labour win. Indeed you even appear to state that Brexit only works if a particular band of Tories win which kind of make the whole idea in my mind seem even more dodgy (again I see parallels of Iraq where goals,ideals and practicality kept meaning that whys and wherefores of Iraq kept changing until we just gave up justifying it and just ran away)

    As to the problems you mention. Student Loans are a problem now we have no solution to them now. Not you Javid/Cleaverly or whoever dream team has a solution and indeed the Tories are arguing over what theey believe is the strategy for Brexit between the low tax low regulation free marketeers and the more pragmatic (nominal remainers). The unicorns and magic money tree has been taken up by the Tories already we have already spent the Brexit dividend on the NHS,our lack of investment, our lack of infrastructure and the like. Tell me what is different between Javid say we should borrow 50B to build enough houses and Corbyn saying we should borrow 50B to improve our country. At the moment there is an understanding that whehter Brexit happens or not that the issue that are of great concern to the UK need solving Brexit does not solve them it is a distraction. This is the bit where my view has nothing to do with poltical alliegences or tribalism.

    Lastly I am 52 year old and mobile I have worked across the world so for me leaving the country is something that can happen a lot easier than for you. Simply put I think you realise you have voted for a pile of sh1t and are now casting blame to all and sundry at first it was amusing now it downright sad. We vote to leave despite what the negatives could be we need to man up and face the consequences.

    That said two adages I shall leave for you it is never as bad as we fear but never as good as we hoped.Brexit will be at best for most people a meh. I think we’ll be disappointed with it we have put so much store in it be it remain or leave that we forget that the problems have nothing to do with the EU or Germany or Greece. They are policies that we have voted for by politicians we have voted in. At some point we have to take responsibility as voter for the sh1t that we have. I was hoping that Brexit for the good and the ill would be a starting point from that perspective I was wrong. I believe we will still be blaming the EU, no matter what, is part of our political culture it is almost a reflex action. We will still have tribal politics again we are becoming like the US where a policy is not important but who the messenger is, is.

    That to my mind is the sad part of your posts.


    I believe your post to TREVOR was too polite….

  48. Not sure if anyone picked this up, but the PMI June data was relatively good. Increases in output for the construction and services sectors, quite strong for the latter, although a slowing of growth to a relatively static picture for manufacturing.

    Two points of note: all three sectors report sharply strengthening prices, and slowing in recruitment, so it might be that job creation is slowing. It’s also worth noting that there was a major mismatch between the ONS industrial output figures and the manufacturing PMI last month, with the official data much more pessimistic than the PMI.

    Will be interesting to watch the match between these two data sets in the next couple of months.

    On other things: Those who wish for a hard Brexit really need to examine the consequences. While JLR’s statement could be seen as lobbying, it fits with what has actually happened. The car industry has cut investemnet massively since Brexit, while still saying that they intend to invest in the UK in future – on the assumption that a good Brexit deal is secured. That i just an assumption, and one that can easily change.

    If it does, then the actual experience of the last two years will be a more appropriate measure than their stated future plans, based as they would be on false information. JLR’s threat to pull their entire UK investment is perfectly sensible from an economic perspective if we have a hard Brexit. No reshoring there, which was always a somewhat statistically innumerate view.

  49. Alec makes a good point – industries staying in Britain hardly constitutes a ringing endorsement of Brexit. The entry/exit barriers to moving operations overseas are bloody enormous. All it means is that staying in a post-Brexit Britain is the lesser of two evils.

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