A quick update on three new voting intention polls in the last day:

Survation for the Daily Mail have topline figures of CON 38%(+1), LAB 37%(-4), LDEM 10%(+4), UKIP 4%(+3). Fieldwork was done wholly on Friday, after the news of Boris Johnson’s seperation from his wife had broken and changes are from their poll earlier this week which had shown a four point Labour lead. The changes are from their poll at the start of the week that showed a four point Labour lead – obviously given the closeness of fieldwork those changes are more likely to be noise than a sudden surge in Lib Dem support within a matter of days! Full details are here.

BMG for the Independent have topline figures of CON 37%(nc), LAB 38%(-1), LDEM 11%(+1), UKIP 7%(+2). Fieldwork was Tuesday to Friday and the (insignificant) changes are from last month. Full tabs are here.

Finally YouGov‘s weekly poll for the Times had headline figures of CON 39%(nc), LAB 35%(-2), LDDEM 11%(+1), UKIP 5%(nc). Fieldwork was on Monday and Tuesday, and changes are from last week. Full tables are here.

All three polls obviously show Labour and Conservative relatively close. Worth noting is that all three have the Liberal Democrats sneaking up into double figures, something that does seem to be part of a wider trend of the Liberal Democrats very gradually starting to recover support.


327 Responses to “Latest YouGov, BMG and Survation voting intention”

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  1. So had a brief look at the yougov poll.

    Thought for the day is…from the last poll to this one, raw support for both labour and tory dropped 1%. Con 26%, lab 25%. Isnt that getting a bit low, 51% between them?

    ‘Will not vote’ and ‘dont know’ both went up 1%. libs went up 1%. ‘Other’ went up 1%, which in the breakdown showed as a rise in greens and refusd to answer, and a drop in BNP and UKIP.

    While all the changes are tiny, is there a pattern? Voters dont like conservative, labour, UKIP and BNP. They do like libs and greens. Would that be a vote against all the parties supporting Brexit, and for those opposing it? Meanwhile, brexit went up another 1% as the most important issue, but seemingly as a matter of concern to voters?

    Probably no coincidence the survey also has wrong to leave up 1%. Government negotiating well down 1%, negotiating badly up 3%. On every probem facing the UK, support for tory handling dropped. ‘none’ and ‘dont know’ showing gains as the best party to handle problems.

    Do I scent the start of a voter revolt against what is happening? Voters want a credible remain party to get behind?

  2. LeftieLiberal
    “I put rather more faith in CMJ’s time series analysis, with its confidence limits, to identify trends.”

    Yes, we’re all tempted to seize on individual polls that suit our agenda, but trends are the real deal. However even trends can change rapidly (e.g. last GE).
    ————————
    Andrew111 et al
    Talking to Carfrew sometimes feels like being a participant in the Monty Python Argument sketch!
    ——————————-
    R&D
    “Over here we’ve been much cleverer and we call Northern England “Scotland” so that you don’t end up there by mistake.”
    :-) I believe that in the 18th century there was an effort to refer to Scotland and England as North and South Britain presumably in an effort to foster unity.
    ——————————————

  3. ON:

    Yes – I used your link, thanks.

    But without much more detail on how the questions were asked, and the regional variation, it`s hard to draw meaningful conclusions.

    The figures seem odd. Why has overall satisfaction declined so sharply, but there`s not much change in the three services individually. And why is the satisfaction on schools so much less for everyone surveyed than for school users. My hunch is that many older folk think (wrongly in my opinion) that education standards have slipped, whereas the younger generations realise they have been taught different skills.

  4. @Pete B

    “Talking to Carfrew sometimes feels like being a participant in the Monty Python Argument sketch!“

    ——

    “I’ve told you once”.

  5. Pete B

    “I believe that in the 18th century there was an effort to refer to Scotland and England as North and South Britain presumably in an effort to foster unity.”

    There was indeed. Enthusiasts for the UK Union in Scotland were keen on that idea, though it didn’t catch on. Logically, the north of England would have also had to be part of “North Britain”, if it was to accurately represent geography, rather than simply a relabelling.

    Of course, they didn’t actually want “unity” since that would have meant the extension of the “South British” legal and religious settlements extended to the North.

    Sensibly, those in England wanted nothing to do with such a daft idea. Modern UK Unionists in Scotland, however, are much less concerned at preserving the distinctive features of “North Britain”.

  6. @Turk

    I think that the problem Labour now have is the infiltration of party membership by a ragtag collection of Trots, Marxists, Communists and other hard-left spite-driven nasties who are operating largely independently of the command structure, stirred up by maverick MPs such as Chris Williamson.

    I don’t believe there is any real leadership from the great JC, who is either too stupid or lacks the will to take command of the situation and bring the party together in order to try and win a GE. Had this happened immediately after GE2017, even if it were a sham, I think they would be a formidable force by now.

    JMcD is far more intelligent, sees exactly what is going on and is making desperate last-ditched attempts to bring the situation back in hand. But it is too late. The monster has been created, escaped from its cage and is running amok, completely out of control.

    For moderates it is less of a case of stay or go, but a question of jump or be pushed.

  7. Davwel

    Not really odd figures. You’ll just have to wait for the detail.

    On schools, for example, I think you are correct. An ageing population will contain fewer people who have any contact with schools, and so will be more affected by the claims of opposition [1] that standards have fallen, and young folk today … etc

    As to the combined satisfaction levels for all 3 services, as I said above, it was suggested to me that there is a particular dissatisfaction with public transport among those with kids at school, or using health facilities.

    I can only speculate, but it could relate to the rebuild of schools on new greenfield sites, which are more distant and off bus routes. Only the LA data will throw light on these matters.

    [I] The SNP were nearly as bad when they were in opposition (though the MSM didn’t just copy and paste their press releases)

  8. Andrew Myers,
    “I think that the problem Labour now have is the infiltration of party membership by a ragtag collection of Trots, Marxists, Communists and other hard-left spite-driven nasties”

    Or maybe a genuine groundswell of opposition to the cosy tory-Blairite political unanimity which many voters detest?

  9. Oldnat (etc),
    “On schools…. An ageing population will contain fewer people who have any contact with schools,”

    Or, looking at it the other way about, the younger generation will have no experience of how schools used to be, so have no comparison to highlight failings, whereas the older have both their own memories and the media reports of current schools.

  10. Davwel

    Re my comment above about opposition parties (whoever they are) suggesting that the existing Government is rubbish, and putting the opposition in power will solve all the problems I noted this from Leanne Wood

    In Wales, Labour are responsible for education. And yes, our children do deserve better & will get it with @Plaid_Cymru

    I’m a fan of Leanne Wood, but that is just standard political party crap, and why I generally dislike every party. Happy to use any of them to achieve my desired scenario, but I don’t want to be used by any of them!

  11. Danny

    Also true, though the survey is only of adults, so won’t include the views of those still at school.

  12. From previous thread.

    “Murray is using smoke and mirrors to convince people who really, really want to be convinced. Don’t be fooled.”
    @Neil A September 8th, 2018 at 1:47 am

    Thanks for your considered opinion. I do not doubt anything you say. Indeed, novichock is supposed to be extraordinary toxic. From what I have read these sorts of poisons are normally transported as two or more components, and only combined at the target site to produce the desired poison.

    With a product so potent I am absolutely convinced that the people dispatched to deliver it would be nothing but the best that could be used. I am not convinced this crime has been sponsored by Russia, although that does not mean these were not Russians — and of course that does not mean it wasn’t sponsored by Russia. I do not think that the poison’s handlers would be so stupid as to leave clues aimlessly around. A product so toxic must be handled carefully, and no doubt these people were rigorously trained prior to entering the UK.

    Indeed I would expect them to plan everything they were going to do meticulously. From the comments you have made about how people could be tracked I would be flabbergasted if this was not known and taken into account. Everyone leaves some footprint or other; and I expect that would have been controlled and built in.

    But the key question that has still not yet been addressed — why use such an extreme poison to perform an execution? Whether successful or not its use was presumably designed to send a message. But from whom and to whom? That is most worrying of all.

  13. Al Urqa

    To make it as public as possible. If you want to send a threat to lots of people, you don’t try and pass his murder off as a car accident. You make it VERY clear it was a targeted murder.

    Same reason a highly exotic material was used to murder Litvenenko.

  14. Alan

    May we have some more disclosure on how you know why Litvinenko was murdered in the way he was?

  15. Heh Carfrew,
    I have no interest in revisiting old forum arguments (nor repeating more recent arguments at your request when they were already made in a post you evidently found too long to read – sympathy there, there are only so many hours in the day)

    But you are a bit of a “stuck in the groove” guy sometimes and I admit I found it amusing to see how small a poke could get the ants nest going!

  16. Prof Howard

    I should have been more careful in what I said. There is a lot of opposition to the Chequers plan within the membership of the Tories.That is not quite the same as accepting WTO terms. Except, in practice it might well be the same.

    There are some 60 to 80 members of the parliamentary party said to be willing to accept WTO terms.

    https://www.conservativehome.com/thetorydiary/2018/07/grassroots-rebellion-downing-street-is-starting-to-realise-the-scale-of-tory-opposition-to-the-chequers-plan.html

    “Being more detailed, the message from the Global Britain polling is starker. Whatever one thinks of the economics of Chequers; whatever one thinks of the way it was landed on Cabinet ministers as an accept-it-or-resign fait accompli; whatever one thinks of measuring its proposals against the promises made at Lancaster House, Florence, Mansion House and in the party manifesto – the breach of trust is so great that it is imperative the Prime Minister takes it off the table.
    She still has the opportunity to do this, save face and rebuild the trust of the British people. She can legitimately argue she has repeatedly sought compromise only to be rebuffed and ridiculed by EU negotiators and individual heads of state. Instead of offering compromise, they have demanded yet more from her. She should say enough is enough and put her faith in WTO rules until such time as a Canada-style trade deal for the whole UK can be agreed.”

    https://brexitcentral.com/conservatives-beware-chequers-plan-sweep-party-power/

  17. Sam (et al.),

    You dont think that there are 300 or so tories, who have deployed in factions each to oppose one form of brexit or another?

    The predictable result of this might be a collapse in public support for brexit altogether? And is that what we are seeing?

  18. Interesting poll from Survation with a 4% Labour lead. Is it an outlier? It may be, but Survation did a good job in 2017, so it may be more correct than YouGov, who knows? The most interesting part of the poll was that all the moaning from Remainers seems to be having no effect at all and there is no indication of any significant move towards Remain.
    Later poll from YouGov showed a 4% Tory lead , so you take your pick!

  19. Mervyn King spoke out on Brexit: –
    “The former banking boss told the BBC that the “whole lack of preparation” to deal with the consequences of Brexit had “beggared belief”.
    “He added: “We haven’t had a credibly bargaining position, because we hadn’t put in place measures where we could say to our colleagues in Europe, ‘ Look, we’d like a free-trade deal, we think that you would probably like one too, but if we can’t agree, don’t be under any misapprehension, we have put in place the measures that would enable us to leave without one.'”
    “He also that he found the level of debate “depressing “and warned that achieving “Brexit in name only” would be the biggest future risk to the UK.

    Totally agree with him, we should have been planning to leave without a deal if necessary from the moment A50 was triggered, but leaving the EU properly is still absolutely essential IMO.

    Incidentally I notice that the Governments plans for “No Deal” are known as Project “Yellowhammer”, a delightful bird with call that sounds like “a little bit of bread and no cheese” very appropriate for me as cheese in any form make me quite violently ill.

  20. I see the Archbishop of Canterbury spoke out with a lot of rubbishy (IMO) socialist solutions to our economic problems. I suspect he has managed to reduce the Anglican congregation yet again with his ramblings. Not a problem for me as I have never suffered from religion.

  21. This morning a leading Tory eurosceptic (Johnson) likens Mrs May to a terrorist, while the police warn that, in fact, there is a threat of terrorism if a hard border is put up in Ireland:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-45461120

  22. Danny

    I think the Conservative party is engaged in civil war over Brexit and that will continue for some time. The Chequers plan has meant that some party members are leaving the Tories to join UKIP. The parliamentary party will have noted that. I don’t know if the Chequers plan will meet with the approval of the HoC. Whether or not it does is irrelevant. It will not meet with approval from the EU in its present form. The Withdrawal Agreement needs to have the NI backstop written up in legal terms. Things are stuck at that point with no chance of movement that I can see.

    I also think that what you think and I think are largely irrelevant.

  23. Sajid Javid on the telly trying not to say he thinks no deal will result in civil disorder. He went so far as to say we need to plan for what to do in such an outcome, but his main stance seems to be the government does not intend to allow a no deal outcome, so it isnt a problem.

    I would think if there is no deal and there is civil disorder, his career would be over.

    As I keep saying, how is it possible to reconcile the statements of various members of the tory party…except by their acknowledging that all Brexit options have been rejected and all that is left is remain.

    The Other Howard,
    ” we should have been planning to leave without a deal if necessary from the moment A50 was triggered”

    So I wonder, why have we not, since it must always have been clear that the EU will not compromise on its founding principles such as to alow any sort of deal hard brexiters would accept. There have only ever been three choices: remain, soft brexit/Norway, or no deal.

    For the government to have deliberately made no (expensive) preparations for no deal means it has always been ruled out as a final outcome. (or at least, ruled out since the snap election calling for it was lost). While they might be talking about the possibility of no deal, their actions mean it will not be permitted as an outcome. See Javid’s comments on the telly today.

  24. My bad grammar.

  25. @ PROFHOWARD – totally valid point re SF and DUP becoming less extreme into the late 1990s and into the “chuckle brothers” period. Rev.Paisley and Mc.Guinness came from an engagement raged in hell but a marriage that worked.

  26. @ BZ – More on PR, mixed (STV, etc) and FPTP.

    I’m no fan of the “punch and judy” show we currently have between May+Corbyn, but don’t blame the play for bad actors!

    I hope you respect that it is important that the UK PM is held accountable to HoC and that in any democratic system the positive role of the opposition, and it’s leader, is a mix of holding her to account and doing what is best for the country.

    The main negative issue of our current system comes from the often conflicting interest of trying to punch “judy” in order to increase likelihood of winning the next GE.

    The issue of who is playing “Punch” and who is playing “Judy” is hence totally different to whether STV or FTPTP would give a different and, more importantly, a better outcome.

    My first (minor) point is that STV v FPTP probably wouldn’t make much difference (in UK we’d still have May and Corbyn, in NI they’d still have Foster + SF). In 2015 we might have had a CON + UKIP coalition under STV – something you’d have preferred?

    My second (major) point is: would it deliver a better outcome (ie would an STV elected govt make better decisions and have the ability to deliver)?

    In this regard I think not. In a few cases you have an “enabler” situation (e.g. SGP enabling SNP in Holyrood and I’d also include Germany with the enabling relationship of stable coalitions since WW2). IMHO these are examples of where a party has “gamed” the system to keep themselves in power and in both examples that has probably given an outcome that has been effective but not truly democratic (IMHO!)

    In most cases though it just provides a “chaotic” less effective govt (Italy the classic case but Belgium, RoI and most EU countries with a PR/mixed system have had issues of weak governments at various times). Those can muddle along, especially if major parts of their “sovereignty” have been outsourced (Italy is in Euro as well as EU) – but muddling along doesn’t fix issues and risks the electorate wanting very radical change (e.g. 1930s Germany!)

    Hence unless your making a case for an “enabler” party then IMHO STV would likely be more chaotic and less effective than the UK’s current FPTP system

    NB In our current system the “enabler” role can/could occur and the issue of tactical voting, alliances (informal/formal), paper v pulled candidates, etc all very interesting subjects worthy or discussion IMHO! The issue of geographic niche v nationwide party also relevant.

  27. @ THE OTHER HOWARD

    “The most interesting part of the poll was that all the moaning from Remainers seems to be having no effect at all and there is no indication of any significant move towards Remain.”

    Howard, there has never been a move from Leave to Remain, beyond the usual “churn” you would expect. Leavers look at the characters behind the call for a re-referendum and immediately see contempt for democracy, duplicity and smell the stench of vested interest money.

  28. @AndrewIII

    Btw, your attempts to explain away the Rusky thing still don’t work. Leaving it late conveys that there can never be any confidence things are now ok – they may get you years later, even after a swap. And there’s no “clear evidence” trail leading back to the top. Just enough to make it a clear possibility, without enough to make it certain.

    You’re stuck in a groove again on that one I’m afraid!

  29. BORIS polls – YG and Survation both asked questions before the latest escalation of the Blue on Blue Civil War.

    My brief synopsis is:

    Boris “opinions” are made up of three parts:
    1/ His Politics
    2/ His Personal Life
    3/ His Potential as a future PM

    Most folks don’t care about #2

    #1 is highly divisive but Brexit is highly divisive and trying to fudge a compromise isn’t working inside HoC nor with EC. IMHO we either make a clean break with a CON govt that actually wants Brexit or we have a LAB minority govt that wants to try to stay in.

    That leaves #3 and in that regard it seems clear that his ship has sailed. Other CON options might have enough DK to turn (see YG poll) but Boris doesn’t (ie he might lead the party but he would never lead the country)

  30. It is really too early to look at averages for September (4 polls from 3 companies) but, as I will be in sunnier climes shortly for a couple of weeks –

    The point that strikes me most is that Lab and Con were averaging 82% between them at the start of the year and that figure is 75% in this month’s polls so far. The Lab decline has been going on all year whereas the Con decline started in July after they had been rising fractionally earlier. That 7% decline is roughly evenly spread between LD, UKIP and others. The LD rise started in April and has been going on slowly and steadily since. UKIP was mainly a one-off rise after Chequers and has only changed marginally since.

  31. “I think the Conservative party is engaged in civil war over Brexit and that will continue for some time.”

    ——

    When Brexit is over, if it ever is, don’t rule out the possibility that there will be something else to war over, since parties seem very good at finding ways to be at loggerheads. See Tories and Corn Laws for details. Or Labour and the SNP split. Or for Liberals, the Squiffites etc.

    (Not sure about Greens, but maybe one day there’ll be a huge split and mucho polling over GM foods. Or Thorium. One can but dream…)

  32. “@ PROFHOWARD – totally valid point re SF and DUP becoming less extreme into the late 1990s and into the “chuckle brothers” period. Rev.Paisley and Mc.Guinness came from an engagement raged in hell but a marriage that worked.”

    Trevor thanks for getting back to me on that. I also think your other comments on growth of extreme parties relative to centre are valid. It is a complaint of many that the UK government under Blair essentially sacrificed the centre ground to make progress. They (Blair, Powell etc) argued this was necessary.

  33. @AndrewIII

    “I have no interest in revisiting old forum arguments (nor repeating more recent arguments at your request when they were already made in a post you evidently found too long to read – sympathy there, there are only so many hours in the day)

    But you are a bit of a “stuck in the groove” guy sometimes and I admit I found it amusing to see how small a poke could get the ants nest going!”

    ———

    Lol Andrew, saying that you’ve no interest in revisiting the past is pretty hopeless when you brought up the tuition fee thing again. I just returned the favour.

    You might want to brush things like the austerity u-turn under the carpet as a past issue but unfortunately they’re still live issues affecting polling which others may not wish away as conveniently as you have. I was just being helpful pointing that out, like when I pointed out being stuck in a groove going on at Labour may not help overcome the perception of being in thrall to Tories.

    Still, whatever floats your boat.

  34. “It may be, but Survation did a good job in 2017, so it may be more correct than YouGov, who knows?”

    ——-

    So, given the relative success of their new-fanged alternative model in the GE, would Yougov ever try and use that model to try calibrating the old approach? Or at least use it as some kind of check or reference point?

  35. For SNP above, read SDP, obvs. Autocorrect is political.

  36. The Greens have had various splitters over the years e.g. the David Icke New Age conspiracy-theory crowd. Some of their early members left because of issues like nuclear power and their movement towards being more of a socialist party than an environmentalist party.

  37. JONESINBANGOR

    “Howard, there has never been a move from Leave to Remain, beyond the usual “churn” you would expect. Leavers look at the characters behind the call for a re-referendum and immediately see contempt for democracy, duplicity and smell the stench of vested interest money.”

    Our politics could not be more different but I can agree with you totally on your last post.

  38. Danny

    I doubt the Government can stop us leaving without a deal. There are few real signs the EU want one. Still my most likely option for Brexit.

  39. The Other Howard,
    By now I think the tories would accept any outcome at all, so long as they do not get blamed. Though that is not much more than a general observation about modern political parties, which singularly lack conviction.

    I refer you to what Javid said. Either he ensures brexit goes ahead and is a success, or he prevents it happening. Those are the only two options if he wants a future in politics. I can see a future where it all goes horribly wrong, and the tories then blame each other for this, but not themselves personally.

    Trevor Warne,
    You seem to have a bit of a down on Corbyn, who is an immensely successful politician. While he might not command universal voter support, I point to both tory and labour only getting the support of about 25% of voters. So anyone on more than 25% support is doing better than their party!

    I also maintain he has the potential to galvanise a different segment of voters, which on a combined ticket with more centrist labour, could be a real winner. Labour did markedly well at the recent election, but it is hard to tell what of this is a remain boost, and what a corbyn boost.

    Sam,
    “I think the Conservative party is engaged in civil war over Brexit and that will continue for some time. The Chequers plan has meant that some party members are leaving the Tories to join UKIP.”

    You know my view, that the conservatives have played up this talk of internal division, but in reality they are united. The recent Yougov says support leaving both tory and UKIP….going to lib and green. Which might make sense if it is disenchanted leavers.

    Incidentally, while this is all 1% changes, the polling companies do use consistent methodologies and part of their claimed error must be methodological. Which means trends might be rather more legitimate than absolute value.

  40. @ BazInWales

    Good summary, sounds about right to me. As you say, probably the most significant thing that’s happened all year is the slow drift from last year’s situations of the two big parties polling 80% plus between them. I think that trend is real, but it’s still very slow. Nothing much to get excited about yet.

    I really do expect things to get far more volatile over the next six months (you all know why). But then again, I’m so often wrong.

  41. ANDREW MYERS

    @”The monster has been created, escaped from its cage and is running amok, completely out of control.”

    A bit dramatic perhaps-but if you add the words “of MPs” at the end , essentially true . True because that was The Plan

    So I don’t buy @”I don’t believe there is any real leadership from the great JC, who is either too stupid or lacks the will to take command of the situation ” , which paints Corbyn as a passive bystander .

    He created your “monster”.:-

    “Social democracy itself was exhausted. Dead on its feet.

    Yet something new and invigorating, popular and authentic has exploded.
    To understand this all of us have to share our ideas and our contributions.
    Our common project must be to embrace the emergence of a modern left movement and harness it to build a society for the majority.
    Now some media commentators who’ve spent years complaining about how few people have engaged with political parties have sneered at our huge increase in membership……..
    ……
    We celebrate the enthusiasm of so many people, old and young, from all communities. In every part of the country. Joining Labour as members and supporters.
    And we need to change in response to this movement.
    Our new members want to be active and involved. Want to have a say in our Labour Party’s policies. Want to lead local and national campaigns against injustice and the dreadful impact of Tory austerity. ………
    …….
    They want a new politics of engagement and involvement.
    Many of them are already active in their communities, in voluntary organisations, in local campaigns.And we’ve convinced them now to take a further step and join our Labour Party. ………
    …….
    That’s going to mean a lot of change for the way we’ve done our politics in the past…….
    …..
    That is the way of communication, it is not just through broadsheet newspapers or tabloids, it’s social media that really is the point of communication of the future. We have got to get that.

    One firm commitment I make to people who join our Labour Party is that you have a real say, the final say in deciding on the policies of our party.
    No-one – not me as Leader, not the Shadow Cabinet, not the Parliamentary Labour Party – is going to impose policy or have a veto.

    The media commentariat don’t get it. …………….
    ……….
    The power of social media. The power of our huge new membership. ”

    Jeremy Corbyn
    Lab Conference speech
    Sept 2015.

    OK-I missed out the bits about a fairer kind of politics & not being nasty to each other-but how does he define those ?

    And anyway-he stated explicitly that no organs of the of the Parliamentary Party -including him-will overide policy set by Members.

    There are plenty of other quotes by JC & John McD stating that the Membership , not the PLP , is the repository and arbiter of the political direction of Labour under Corbyn.

    Chris Williamson on C4 News yesterday made clear that Labour MPs are first & foremost, there to promote the policy platform dictated by their CLP Members.

    What Williamson never mentions in his vision of local democracy in action, is Momentum. Jointly founded by Corbyn’s Director of Strategic Communications , this is the organ which ensures that Members & Leadership are on the same page. And they are whilst Corbyn is Leader.

    How much control he can exert I cannot know.Did he really mean that he would not impose policy on the Membership in that 2015 speech-or did he just mean that because the Members have joined to support his policvies there is no difference between them?

    On the behaviour of activists, it seems to me that their deniability is as convenient to him as their activities. A bit like Putin & the GRU hit men.

  42. @Danny “Or maybe a genuine groundswell of opposition to the cosy tory-Blairite political unanimity which many voters detest?”

    I’m not denying a proportion of the electorate would fall into that category but I doubt very much that there was such a monumental shift to the left since May 2015.

    I am talking more about the hard-left segment of the membership and/or Momentum who haven’t worked out yet that they need a united party to stand any chance of winning a GE. John McDonnell seems to be the only one who has cottoned on to it.

    The amusing thing is that the more the moderates appeal for unity the greater the backlash from the hard left. The venom against them is incredible – so much for kinder, gentler politics!

    I am getting the popcorn ready, I just wish they would get on with the show!

  43. @TOH

    “Survation did a good job in 2017, so it may be more correct than YouGov, who knows?”

    Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. Back in 2015, it was Matt Singh with his Number Cruncher Politics that beat all the major pollsters, but his 2017 predition wasn’t close.

    @TW
    The value of STV is not that it automatically leads to better government; if all candidates are duff then the MP will be whatever method is used; but that it allows the voter to express a preference between candidates from the same party. So in an imaginary STV constituency the voter wishing to vote Tory would be able to rank say: Theresa May, Anna Soubry, Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg in order of preference and might, if a strong Remainer, even place a candidate from another party, call him Chuka Umunna, ahead of a Leave candidate from his preferred party.

    So my argument for STV is that it takes power away from political parties and puts it into the hands of the voters. With STV, parties do not need to be a broad church to gain the advantages of FPTP and we might well find both Tory and Labour parties splitting into moderate and extreme parties of right and left.

  44. I’ve a real worry about civil disobedience. I can see people getting seriously hurt if as a country we’re not careful. This is the time the government should be recruiting more police, there’s a chance we’re going to need them.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/no-deal-brexit-military-police-leaked-document-a8529401.html

  45. @BillP

    “The Greens have had various splitters over the years e.g. the David Icke New Age conspiracy-theory crowd. Some of their early members left because of issues like nuclear power and their movement towards being more of a socialist party than an environmentalist party.”

    ——-

    Thanks muchly for the info. on Greens, Bill. Reassuring that they fit the pattern. (For a full on split we need an alternative Green Party, perhaps Pro-Thorium, Pro-GM foods, Pro-lizard peeps etc.)

  46. @Sam You quoted:

    “She should say enough is enough and put her faith in WTO rules until such time as a Canada-style trade deal for the whole UK can be agreed.”

    It seems to me that this ‘Canada style’ deal is the only realistic alternative to remain. Practically no one (well about 15%) want a genuine ‘no deal’ and anything in between Canada and remain is widely seen as the worst of all worlds and in most cases unacceptable to the EU.

    Canada would not solve the NI border problem, the difficulty of striking trade deals from a weakened position, issues over services, or a host of immediate problems about supply chains, delays and the like. In the long run it would presumably be viable and I guess a lot of people would like it.

    So I think we need a referendum to decide whether we go for it with our eyes open or try and stick with the devil we know. In either case the referendum could only be advisory a) because that is the constitutional position and b) because this is a negotiation, The fact that the people vote for something may mandate government to try and achieve it. It cannot ensure that they will.

  47. @Pete,

    The only part of that which rings true for me will be the increases to food prices.

    There will be plenty of suppliers of food in the EU and around the world who will be keen to supply us with as much food as we want. There will be money to be made, and the market is likely to ensure that there is a means to get that produce into our shops. However all of this will cost. I would expect a No Deal to result in a significant period of food price inflation and then a higher level of food prices for several years whilst trade deals were ironed out and infrastructure put in place to ensure that, in the long term, food from around the world can be imported efficiently. A likely fall in the value of sterling after Brexit would also increase the costs of imported food.

    If there is disorder it will be because people can’t afford to buy food, not because there isn’t any. The government has the power to deal with this through increasing incomes to compensate. Of course that doesn’t mean it will use that power.

    One positive consequence, of course, is that UK food producers should see a very significant improvement in their bottom line. They will suddenly enjoy a massive competitive advantage on their UK sales. They don’t have to worry about tariffs or border checks. Their produce is of high quality and people trust it. Their business expenses and living costs are largely (but not completely) in Sterling so exchange rates matter less.

  48. COLIN

    What occurs to me most about the “members decide policy” principle is that it, theoretically at the least, leaves any party that accepts that completely open to a takeover and a complete change of direction.

    If enough people with right wing views, completely at odds with current Labour policies, joined the party should it then accept their right to fundamentally alter it?

    To me it seems like inviting people to join a football supporters club, give them total control and then blithely accept it when the say:

    “We’d prefer it if we played rugger now; that’s what we liked all along, ta very much.”

    It’s a recipe for disaster – even though I accept that things won’t happen in quite this exaggerated way. But the principle stands and Labour are in serious danger, as I wrote before, of having a mass membership party which largely just appeals to that mass membership – not to typical Labour Party supporters in enough numbers.

  49. “Mervyn King spoke out on Brexit: –
    “The former banking boss told the BBC that the “whole lack of preparation” to deal with the consequences of Brexit had “beggared belief”.”
    @The Other Howard September 9th, 2018 at 8:16 am

    You may wish to read Chris Grey’s analysis of this:

    https://chrisgreybrexitblog.blogspot.com/
    Friday, 7 September 2018
    Another journey round the Brexit loop

    In a widely reported interview with the BBC this week, Mervyn King, the Brexit supporting former Governor of the Bank of England, made a forthright attack on the incompetence of the Government’s handling of Brexit.

    It’s an intervention that is worth considering for at least three reasons.

  50. .

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