Voting intention polls over the last fortnight have been showing the same pattern that we’ve become used to over the last four month: Conservative and Labour very close to each other in support, with the Tories averaging a very small lead.

Survation/GMB (20th June) – CON 41, LAB 38, LDEM 7
ICM/Guardian (24th June) – CON 41, LAB 40, LDEM 9
YouGov/Times (26th June) – CON 42, LAB 37, LDEM 9
Ipsos MORI (27th June) – CON 41, LAB 38, LDEM 9
YouGov/Times (4th July) – CON 41, LAB 40, LDEM 9
AVERAGE – CON 41, LAB 39, LDEM 9

There’s a fresh Survation poll in today’s Mail on Sunday, with fieldwork conducted wholly on Saturday, after the Chequers summit. Topline figures there are CON 38%(-3), LAB 40%(+2), LDEM 10%(+3). While Survation typically show Labour in a better polling position than other companies do, this is still the first Survation poll to show Labour ahead since March. On the other hand, it is well within the normal margin of error (Survation’s polls over the last four months have averaged at CON 41, LAB 40). I will leave it with my normal caveats about reading too much into polls after events – they have the same sample variation as any other poll, so don’t assume that any change is a result of the event, rather than just noise. Wait and see if other polls show a similar pattern of change.

In the meantime, is there anything polling can tell us about how the Brexit deal will impact public attitudes? Our starting point, as is so often the case, should be to recall how little attention most people pay towards the intricacies of the Brexit negoatiations. Most people are not glued to the ins- and outs- of it, don’t know or care about the specifics of court juristrictions and trade regulations. The Brexit deal will, in all likelihood, be judged upon broad brush preceptions. Do people think it is a good deal for Britain? Do people think it is a genuine Brexit?

On those two measures, the Survation poll gave people a brief summary of the deal and asked people if they approved – 33% did, 22% did not, 35% neither approved nor disapproved and 10% did not know. Balance of opinion amongst remainers and leavers was positive, though it went down better among Remainers (for Leave the break was 30% approve, 25% disapprove; for Remain the break was 39% approve, 25% disapprove). The response was less positive when they asked if it was faithful to the referendum result – 29% thought it was, 38% thought it was not, 34% said don’t know. Overall, 26% said it was the right deal, 42% that it was the wrong deal, 32% didn’t know.

That’s clearly a mixed response – the balance of public opinion approves of it, but doesn’t think it respects the result and doesn’t think it’s the right deal. And on all those measures an awful lot of people said don’t know. I expect that’s largely because people have been asked about something they weren’t paying much attention to and didn’t have much of an opinion on it yet (it cannot be easy to get a sample within a space of a few hours at the best of times. When England are playing a World Cup Quarter final at the same point…).

The question is how they will make that decision. For obvious reasons most people will not have spent their Saturday poring over the government press release from the Chequers summit, nor will they read the White Paper this week! It will depend how the papers react to it, how the broadcast media report it, how politicians people recognise like the party leaders, Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage and so on react to it.

The wise thing to do now is to wait and see if there is any lasting movement in the polls, or whether (in public opinion terms) this is just another one of those arguments about the fine details of Brexit that the public seem to be largely tuning out of.

(Note that – despite what it appears to show on my sidebar to the right – UKIP were NOT on zero percent in the latest Survation poll. The poll didn’t ask people who said they’ve vote “other” which other party they would vote for, so it’s impossible to tell UKIP support from the poll.)


396 Responses to “Latest Voting Intention and the Chequers Summit”

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  1. Alec,

    Pretty much spot on and a classic piece of Boris pros.
    Full of Churchillian rhetoric but devoid of real substance.

    To sum up;

    Having, Promised the Impossible, which I could not delivered, I have no option but to resign; so that I can be free to continue to call for the Impossible!

    Peter.

  2. From Jacob Rees Smog – “Outside 1922 meeting Jacob Rees Mogg says it’s “a matter of grave concern” that Downing St has been briefing Labour members. He hints that if the PM tried to get Chequers through on Lab votes the Tory party would split. “But it would be a split from the top.””

    That’s funny, as he seemed very happy to welcome Labour rebels when they backed his version of Brexit.

    It’s clear that people like Smogg aren’t actually remotely interested in democratic debate and serving up what the people actually want – he just wants his version of Brexit and his version of the Tory Party to prevail.

  3. Norbold

    My opinion of you is based solely on what you say I don’t pretend to know what you or your what your friends think about .
    Think what you like I don’t care ,just refrain from including the thoughts of my friends in your comments particularly as I suspect they have done more in action to help those in hardship than most who post on here.

  4. It’s official. UK is the new Italy.

    Hot dry climate. Tick.
    Decent football team. Tick.
    Dysfunctional parliament. Tick.

    We probably have a Mafia too, though they come from Moscow mostly, rather than Sicily.

  5. I thought Anthony’s thread might have had a headline screaming; “Labour Surge to 2% lead in the polls.”. The expression “the polls” being taken from Andrew Neil’s political lexicon, of course! :-)

    Survation’s absolute belter of a poll being the most recent one too, showing a 5% turnaround in voting intentions from their previous one conducted three weeks ago. In fact, on a rather more serious note, a lot of the polls listed by Anthony here, and contributing to his rolling average, are a bit old hat, aren’t they? Much water has flowed under many bridges since and while Brexit still underpins and distorts them all, it might be, especially after today’s dramatic events, that things move quite quickly now. This is a Government on the brink of collapse and while I expect that the May loyalists will keep the rickety old cart on the road for as long as they can, the end is surely in sight, I think. A Government in this sort of disarray just simply can’t go on for much longer and while I couldn’t give a tinker’s cuss about the reputation and health of the Tory Party, I do about our country. Something surely has to give over the next 12 months at the very longest. This is an administration that needs to be put out of its misery for all our sakes, and probably their own too.

    @Turk

    You made a point about Food Banks and how you and your farming friends had supplied fresh food to them over the years. This intrigues me, I have to say. My wife has recently volunteered as a helper at a local food bank and she told me recently that because of fear of contamination and the risk of some foods perishing within short time periods, they were only allowed to provide tinned, frozen and packaged foods.

  6. Trigguy
    “We probably have a Mafia too, though they come from Moscow mostly”

    I’d have said Eton, but we’re all entitled to our own views :-)

  7. CB

    “@Turk
    You made a point about Food Banks and how you and your farming friends had supplied fresh food to them over the years. This intrigues me, I have to say. My wife has recently volunteered as a helper at a local food bank and she told me recently that because of fear of contamination and the risk of some foods perishing within short time periods, they were only allowed to provide tinned, frozen and packaged foods.”

    Same with our food banks here. But I didn’t like to mention it as I was already in trouble with Turk!

  8. Posts keep appearing then disappearing again (and not just mine). Crossbat had one I think.

  9. TURK

    Its not that CB11 & Norbold are calling you a li*r-oh dear no-perish the thought.

    Its just that their experience of foodbanks MUST represent that at ALL foodbanks.

    :-)

    https://broxbourne.foodbank.org.uk/2017/03/02/impact-of-foodbank-fresh-food-at-arlesdene-childrens-centre/

    “Some Trussell Trust foodbanks, like Coventry, provide fresh produce – when available – alongside food. We wouldn’t rule out doing this on a wider scale, but logistically it’s not a sudden blanket answer for all of our foodbanks. ”

    The Trussell Trust

  10. Perhaps it’s time to revisit my predictions from early this year. I only made three:

    1) Boosted turn-out in local elections due to heightened political interest.
    Well I got that one utterly wrong. No excuses there, epic fail.

    2) Challenge to TM as leader of Tories.
    Hmmm, that one does still seem likely to m. But I unwisely qualified it by saying that she would survive the challenge. Maybe, but I’m less confident about that part now.

    3) No general election, as Tories couldn’t get themselves into that much of a mess.
    Just a little less confident about that one now, but I still think a GE is highly unilkely.

    Well, we might know one way or another about 2) soon, but we’ll have to check back in a few month’s time for the other.

  11. Hunt to FO

    Hancock to Health.

  12. Starving people would take perishing foods, no? The government foodbanks would rather people starve than take a chance on a slightly mouldy carrot.. nice.

    Jeremy Hunt is the new Foreign Secretary. Proof this government can do literally anything it wants… Quite amazing in a hung parliament. Poison chalice anyone? Or poison carrot?

  13. The main thing I would like to know is what happens in parliament when the PM brings a Norway-type deal. Does Labour support it?

  14. The wee guy with the specks over at Political Betting is going ape with his twitter feed….

    Mike Smithson Retweeted

    Hugo Rifkind
    ?
    Verified account

    @hugorifkind
    60m60 minutes ago
    More
    I’m going to double down on this. May has a fresher Cabinet, she’s got rid of Johnson, she has established that the Tory right don’t have the balls or numbers to bring her down, and she finally has something to say on Brexit. Best day she’s had since the wheat fields.

    3 replies 3 retweets 6 likes
    Reply 3 Retweet 3 Like 6 Direct message

    Mike Smithson
    ?

    @MSmithsonPB
    44m44 minutes ago
    More Mike Smithson Retweeted Craig Oliver
    This just about sums things upMike Smithson added,
    Craig Oliver

    @CraigOliver100
    So where are we towards the end of a long day? There’s no majority in the Commons for any kind of Brexit, but neither main party will push for Remain. 2nd Ref and General Election more possible, but still not probable. May odds on to still be PM in 2019.

  15. @Colin

    “Its not that CB11 & Norbold are calling you a li*r-oh dear no-perish the thought.”

    The link you provide only goes to support what my wife was telling me about the general policy on food types provided by Food Banks. It shows how a Food Bank has offloaded fresh food that they’d originally taken because they didn’t want to waste it before it perished. Hence why they much prefer to stock and provide food with a much longer shelf life and of a type that can’t be either deliberately or inadvertently contaminated. Seems to make perfect sense to me, but I’m no super-expert on food banks.

    Of course, Turk can no doubt contradict this himself and point to a whole number of Food Banks that, from his own and his friends experiences, regularly accept fresh farm produce donated by farmers. :-)

    @Lewblew

    “Starving people would take perishing foods, no? The government foodbanks would rather people starve than take a chance on a slightly mouldy carrot.. nice.”

    I’d let them eat cake, myself!

    Jeremy Hunt as Foreign Secretary? What’s he going to do with his NHS lapel badge now? I thought his reluctance to give up that badge was the reason he’d refused to move during May’s last master reshuffle. Will he now sport an Amnesty International badge instead? Failing that, what about a “Make America Great Again” badge, ready for Thursday when big Donny rocks up?

    :-)

  16. Colin

    Just out of interest, why do you want to test the ability of the poor to deal with Listerine?

  17. “May odds on to still be PM in 2019.”

    Absolutely frightening.

    In these desperate times of national need, the best democracy can splurge out is Theresa May, and nobody in the Tory party fancies taking on the leopard print kitten heels and attempting to do a better job… Makes you wonder if it’s all on purpose?

  18. For a while I provided his own accommodation for a homeless Hungarian man. The local supermarket sent its waste food to a charity that arranged distribution. It was not possible for him to collect food directly from the supermarket. None of the food was fresh. Supermarkets use this method to try to avoid any situation of food poisoning.

  19. Norbold Cb11

    You really are a very little men but as you ask because obviously your knowledge like your political arguments are rather limited.
    When I was farming in Dorset we supplied the Bournemouth food charity with fresh food this consisted mainly of carrots and potatoes we also supplied jam and vinegar if your going to make snide remarks about people’s generosity try and I realise it may be difficult for you to stick to the truth instead of making it up morons.

  20. I see Nigel Forage has been yanking protected sharks out of the water from his big banker boat and parading them on social media for thrills. Anybody who likes this man and thinks for one moment he’s not another elite with an axe to grind needs to be harpooned.

  21. Can anyone remember a group of more significant resignations from government? The one that springs to mind is Thorneycroft, Powell and Birch from the Treasury in 1958, but that was a bit before my political awareness, and it was only one cabinet minister. I do remember it being written about into the 1960s and 70s.

    I’m sure there must have been others between then and now.

  22. Pete B,

    There was the Geoffrey Howe resignation, which brought down Margaret Thatcher.

    It was mainly over policy towards Europe.

  23. @COLIN

    You’ve answered your own question which is why I say EU says meh as I pointed out countries have already planned for Trump the EU cannot it has 2 neutral countries in it ranks for starters

    I don’t get this it EU political construct is a collection of countries that have come together to the benefit of each. I accept that when each countries neither see the benefit then they may leave but that is their choice as it is ours defence as in the style of NATO was never on the cards since you could not include the swedes or the Irish for example and well before the idea of an EU army which PESCO is not is a a procurement and industrial arrangement more than anything else.

    EU says meh because the French nd the Germans have been organising the europeans that they can already as I said to you the Germans have under them a dutch tank battalion a romanian brigade and a Czech unit just as a starter europe has more tanks more aircraft and more armoured vehicles than the Russians I don’t see Putin coming anytime soon.

    What is clear is that the Eastern Europeans want the US and they are prepared to pay for it so they will pay The Germans on the other hand don’t and so if this is a transactional arrangement then Germany does not get US protection but I don’t see Putin wanting to parachute into Germany anytime soon so again I think Germany say meh. it would be interesting when we are asked to pay (The US one year built more hospitals in the UK than the NHS yes a stupid anecdote but one the US Army used to point out the cost of a base abroad.

    In simple terms it depends on what you want to do for defence. If you want to force project then you have to spend big money if you want to defend your home turf then ISIS was able to make life completely intolerable for the greatest Army that has ever existed. and AK47 cost less than US$500 with enough ammo for some boy soldier to cause enough trouble. Putin want people to welcome him with open arms.

    At the moment that is just Trump. In the long term the US looks like n empire that is slowly decaying it is basically wedded to China’s money as that pays it’s debt so both are wedded to each other and are battling each other. Understand that neither has the upper hand is something they will both have to learn.

  24. I think that Mrs May will feel better after today.

    The hard Brexiteers look like a busted flush. They are few in number within the Conservative Party. In the context of the whole Parliament, they represent an even tinier number.

    Their expected champion, Boris, looks to have lost all credibility. Who else is left who could challenge TM in a Leadership context? None that I can see.

    I don’t even think TM would lose a vote of confidence.

    I would suggest she is very safe until the day we leave the EU.

  25. FRESH FOOD FOR THOUGHT OR THE LACK OF IT.

    @ Norbold, Crossbat

    (1) Why get bogged down in a debate about whether fresh food is supplied by food banks or not. The issue is that milions of people rely on food banks & the number doing so has risen continuously since 2010.
    (2) Raab’s comments were obviously crass both in themselves & because the Trussel Trust reponded by pointing out: that “cash-flow” was only part of the problem; was mainly caused by delays in benefits; themselves exacerbated by the failures of Universal Credit. In other words Raab was highlighting a problem caused by his own government as though it was someone else’s fault.
    (3) People use food banks mainly because they are poor, have low incomes & are intermittently employed. If farmers provide potatoes & carrots, good for them. But it’s hardly the issue.

  26. Hal
    Yes, I’d forgotten that one. Thorneycroft et al didn’t bring down the PM, but Howe did. Everything to play for !

  27. CMJ
    “The hard Brexiteers look like a busted flush. They are few in number within the Conservative Party.”

    I would agree if you had said ‘amongst Conservative MPs’, but I think party members are more Eurosceptic than their so-called representatives.

  28. @Pete B

    Of course, but party members can’t call a vote of confidence or trigger a leadership contest.

  29. @PETE B
    @LEWBLEW

    So I have been coaching basketball this evening an I travelled to my contract in the NorthWest from my home this afternoon and I find out that David Davis and BoJo are gone.

    My first reaction is thank f#@k both were really poor at their jobs and a real disaster to the country.

    From a brexit standpoint . They cannot get rid of May Labour will abstain or vote against anything other than their own amendments and the government will limp on. The EU will tell May she better sort out her plan and get agreement and by the way we want these changes. Brexit becomes WTO and everyone adjusts. The Tories will blame the EU. The EU will shrug its shoulder saying “you’ve been doing that for over 40 years. hell we have been blamed for covering barmaids breasts”
    https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/06/21/482952581/bendy-bananas-and-barmaid-bosoms-the-u-k-s-crazy-anti-eu-food-myths?t=1531173815468

    In the long term I think the Tories split along social conservative and social liberal lines as this is part of the hang’em flog ’em brigade versus gays are OK brigade (remember over half of Tory MP voted against the gay rights legislation) if that happens we are in for fascinating times I don’t see BoJo or Davis leading that faction indeed I don’t see anyone wanting to since there isn’t anyone with balls or common sense. I do feel sorry for the Tories supporters on here though what a clusterf#@k. This is much better than Labours anyone but Corbyn efforts because they were never going to win and in the main were forced into it since they could not get rid of corbyn by resigning.

    BoJo and Davis problem is that resigning does nothing without a leadership challenge. The alternative is that BoJo has given up all hope of being PM which leaves May in ascendancy.

    Simply put leavers need to put up or shut up or vote for someone else.

    Now personally I thin they are right in what they say firstly they are pretty much trying to save the city from EU rules which is not a surprise it is what the City want and they are trying to give our exporters (and remember whilst manufacturing is barely 12% of GDP it is 50% of all our exports, services represent 80% of our GDP but as most reasonable economist know most services have a service area of a not more than 100km from their registered address. for that 80% of services they provide not more than 50% of exports not a great return for us. and being locked out of the EU pretty much says that our indebtedness will get worse and not better.

    So I am hoping that Aussies and the Kiwis want stuff they cannot get from markets in Singapore and Hong Kong in terms of finance. Indeed everyone is getting Chinese money as they diversify away from US bonds so it get very interesting

  30. Prediction: May will come back from EU with a compromise deal that is close to Norway and Labour will vote for her deal because the alternative is to crash out.

  31. I am a trustee of a local food bank. We do take very limited varieties of fresh food – the place was packed with bananas last week – but it’s very much the exception.
    The majority of clients are there because of cockups in the benefit system (like an SEN woman I know who has had her benefit suspended more than 20 times because someone in the DWP changed her address from Road to Rd and back again – benefit suspended repeatedly due to a ‘change in circumstances’)
    We changed our policy from a maximum of 3 days food to up to 7 weeks as Universal Credit took hold. 7 weeks was the normal period for people with no money to receive no money – maybe better now but the policy is just crass.

  32. I am not predicting it, but we could see the Tories in Government but Labours preferred Soft Brexit going through.

    Then the election being fought after a Brexit where older voters who vote Tory feel betrayed and working Brexit supporting Labour voters worried their jobs are happy.

    Peter.

  33. When researching the great resignations, I came across Powell’s entry on Wikipedia. He was remarkably prescient in many areas. Here’s an example:
    “On 16 May 1994, Powell spoke at the Bruges Group and said Europe had “destroyed one Prime Minister and will destroy another Prime Minister yet” ”

    I presume he meant Heath as the first one. Two other points:
    1) BJ is I think the first Foreign Secretary to resign since George Brown in 1968.
    2) Can anyone come up with another occasion when 2 cabinet ministers resigned more or less simultaneously? I don’t think anyone followed Howe, and Powell and Birch weren’t in the cabinet. I’m just trying to get a handle on how momentous the recent events have been.

  34. @Turk

    “…………I realise it may be difficult for you to stick to the truth instead of making it up morons.”

    You’re getting yourself in a right wurzle, you silly old turnip.I never doubted you for one minute. Altruism, humanity and philanthropy are qualities that come over very clearly in all your various posts. Congratulations on your many charitable deeds in Dorset, for which I’m sure the needy in Bournemouth were extremely grateful. Maybe Chris Lane 1945 was a beneficiary.

    :-)

    As for the Brexit chaos in the current Government, old Moggy didn’t sound very conciliatory on Newsnight tonight, nor Ian Dale. Parris felt that the “crazies” as he described the Tory Brexiteers, would eventually destroy the Tory Party.

    We all need to watch this space, I think.

    :-)

  35. The number of people using food banks is probably about 600,000. It is 600,000 too many, but one still have to be clear (one would be too many).

    Still it is not millions.

    What confuses the metrics is that people got used to a very small percentage, perhaps 1% living in basement, but now 5% moving down to the basement (it is still much better than the Great Recession, or for that matter the 1992-94 recession). If there is no change in earninga, then we could have 15% moving to the basement.

    That would create a very different drum rolls from UKIP (as we can see from the universal credit that the government is unable to cope with a much more moderate moving to lower).

  36. Passtherockplease,
    ” This is much better than Labours anyone but Corbyn efforts because they were never going to win”

    Following the numbers here and particlularly in view of the last election, pollsters are living on a knife edge. Trying to predict the public’s view from a small sample relies upon understanding the view of the voters before asking the view of the voters. Take the last result and see if it can be updated for small changes. There is a seismic change in Britain, so it could be all bets are off.

    So I dont like to predict what might happen in the tory party, it is an inherently unpreditable situation. My view is of a plan in action to deal with Brexit, but it might be those arguing the party is breaking up are right. The attacks on Corbyn were clearly a division of view between leadership and MPs, but that came about because the MPs did not choose their own leader. Tory MPs did choose their leader.

    The lesson from the labour party for the tories is that the revolt was a stupid mistake. Party unity has to be maintained.

    I would still argue that everything which is happening is consistent with a choreographed plan to save the tory party from itself. If the party has promised to do something, which most of its voters want, but which most of its MPs think is a disaster, then it has to find a way to do what it sees as right, without offending those voters.

    And so a split in the party works. Allow the opposition to make the decision. Dangerous, because they might choose to do something you dont want. But whatever they do, if you get them to be the deciding factor then blame shifts to them.

    The central point is still that if the tories believed Brexit would work, they would have done it by now. They had a mandate, they had the numbers, if the policy was clearly popular all they had to do was implement it and bask in the adulation. They didnt.

    Where does the process break down? It can only be because they either do no believe Brexit will work and the voter retribution will be awful, or they simply do not want Brexit at all. Take you pick, either the tory party are conviction or pragmatic remainers.

    Boris right now talking about ‘the dream dying’. He is basically saying that Brexit is a wonderful idea thwarted by one faction of politicians. He is making an appeal to keep leavers onboard voting for him (and any other MPs who might feel comfortable in their own constituency saying the same). Meanwhile, those who think their constituents are happier with a soft brexit or even remain, can look to their own security by supporting that position.

    The split serves the long term interests of the party. It allows MPs to vote different ways, even to improve their popularity locally, or certainly to mitigate the losses for the party. Once there is a resolution of Brexit, everyone can come together again without offending the voters. The plan then, is a temporary dissolution of the party, at least on this issue.

  37. As to the latest soft brexit plan, there seems to be a lot of people arguing it is unworkable. So why adopt it?

    Any kind of Brexit reduces the ‘sovereignty’ of the UK. It reduces our ability to make the rules we have to live by. It would make a change fundamentally the opposite of what leavers argue they want. So I dont think any sort of Brexit is viable to satisfy voters, and the tories understand this. Though it is arguable to what extent this could be hidden from voters if implemented.

    This version in particular seeks to create a third model for associate membership of the EU. Norway seems to be too controversial, Switzerland so complicated the EU has said it will not go there again.

    The signs are there that all this fuss in britain is an artificial divide over something which cannot ever happen. The government has staged an argument based upon acceptance or rejection of a plan which stands no chance of being implemented.

    What happens when the EU does as predicted and rejects the plan? Boris says ‘the Brexit dream is dying’. Well yes. The groundwork has been laid to argue that hard Brexit is not viable. The government has declined to make any of the necessary infrastructure or staffing changes. The party has moved to a position where it can cover a split in how it votes in parliament. The Norway option, the only compromise really on the table, has been sidelined as unacceptable. So having eliminated Norway, eliminated hard Brexit, eliminated a new middle way because it is expected to be rejected by the EU, what is left?

    Why, Remain.

  38. LASZLO

    @”Just out of interest, why do you want to test the ability of the poor to deal with Listerine?”

    In the catalogue of your indecipherable posts that rates very highly.

    If you can translate I will try to answer.

    Is it yet another reference to the Hungarian Communist Party hierarchy -or perhaps a pithy addition to the Raci*m of National Border Control series?

  39. PTRP

    You are , of course ,perfectly entitled to believe in the “EU” as a functioning entity.

    Just as I am entitled to hold a different view.

  40. CB11

    @”Of course, Turk can no doubt contradict this himself and point to a whole number of Food Banks that, from his own and his friends experiences, regularly accept fresh farm produce donated by farmers.”

    Did he say “a whole number”?

    He just said he supplied fresh food to foodbanks in his area.

    You on the other hand stated that because your wife reported the policy of one food bank to you then -& I quote :-

    ” they were only allowed to provide tinned, frozen and packaged foods.”

    So the way I read this exchange may be categorised as :-

    Turk:-
    Me & my farmer friends have supplied fresh food to local food banks.

    You-
    My wife says her food bank don’t do this so it must be a nation wide policy not to-so I don’t believe you Turk.

  41. CB11

    @” Congratulations on your many charitable deeds in Dorset, for which I’m sure the needy in Bournemouth were extremely grateful. Maybe Chris Lane 1945 was a beneficiary.”

    Why did you feel the need to write this as a matter of interest?

    Does “snide mode” make you feel better after being criticised-or do you actually feel disdain for Tory voting people who donate food to Food Banks?

  42. When May became PM there was a suggestion going around that Boris at the FO & DD organising Brexit was her saying to both of them-well you got us into this mess-so you sort it out.

    I don’t suppose that yesterday’s events are a very satisfactory outcome to TM’s Long Game to sideline them both ??

    Her authority could be seen as enhanced right now. And if no challenge emerges that impression will be confirmed.

    Extraordinary !

  43. ?Latest @YouGov poll for @thetimes. ?

    Con 39 (-2)

    Lab 39 (-1)

    LD 9 (nc)

    Fieldwork Sunday and Monday.

  44. @COLIN
    ?Latest @YouGov poll for @thetimes. ?

    Con 39 (-2)

    Lab 39 (-1)

    LD 9 (nc)

    Fieldwork Sunday and Monday.

    Shows the pattern of the last couple of weeks, Labour closing the gap.

  45. @ Colin

    Was there a UKIP figure in there?

  46. SHEVII

    I don’t know-pinched that from pb.
    Nothing on YouGov website yet.

    NEILJ

    Yes-logic would suggest a Lab lead emerging now.

  47. @Profhoward – “Prediction: May will come back from EU with a compromise deal that is close to Norway and Labour will vote for her deal because the alternative is to crash out.”

    This is similar to my feelings at present, although there remains much water to flow under many bridges.

    I also agree with @CMJ that the ‘crazies’ as Parris terms them have been outflanked. This is why Boris took so long to decide to resign – he wanted the calculation to be one of ‘can I resign and lead a charge to topple May’, to which the answer on Friday was no, so he stayed, and according to everyone present made lots of positive noises about the deal by the time the meeting closed.

    Then, two days later, Davis resigns, and that changed Boris’ calculation. The question then became ‘can I remain in the government and maintain my credibility now that someone else has resigned’, to which the answer was also no.

    He really is a completely self centred and useless ego, but while the crazies have been shafted for now, the real worry is that this now doesn’t end even if we get a leaving deal agreed.

    Conservatives have been arguing about Europe and tearing themselves apart in the process since the 1960’s, so historical precedent suggests this isn’t going to be over any time soon.

    May’s plan as it stands, with the apparent sovereignty of parliament allowing them to rewrite standards and effectively trash the deal at any time in the future, is a recipe for continued Tory warfare, and it would be inherently destabilizing for both them and the UK economy if it were ever to be accepted.

  48. @Colin Listerine=Listeria?

  49. Now & again another story reveals the mad real world beneath the veneer of “.Organisation & Co-operation”

    The stories of failed communication across Belgium’s multiple layers of government which hampered response to the Brussels & Paris terrorist attacks were one such.

    Today I read of a key objective at the upcoming NATO conference

    Netherlands is to pursue a plan to shorten the time it takes for NATO commanders to get approval to cross national boundaries in EU. Soldiers are currently left waiting in barracks for weeks to gain authorisation to cross border check-points.-Schengen Area borders !
    The plan is to reduce this time to 5 days ( yes-reduce it to 5 days :-) ). At present travel permits to cross Germany can take as long as 40 days to process-being required from all the different regional authorities.

    Putin must smile at this sort of stuff-when he has finished laughing his head off after reading the German Federal Auditors’ Report on the operational status of the German military. The real status, rather than the one improperly declared by the Bundeswehr to the Bundestag.

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