The regular Ipsos MORI political monitor came out in today’s Evening Standard. Topline voting intention figures were CON 39%(+1), LAB 37%(-1), LDEM 13%(+3), UKIP 2%(-4). Fieldwork was Friday to Tuesday and changes are from MORI’s last poll in July (they take a month off for August).

As with other recent polls the Conservatives seem to have recovered a tiny lead since falling behind after the Davis & Johnson resignations. Worth noting is that 13% for the Liberal Democrats. This is the highest they have recorded in any poll since the general election. While one shouldn’t read too much into a single poll – especially one whose fieldwork overlapped with the Lib Dem party conference – the wider polling trend does suggest some uplift in Liberal Democrat support: six of the nine polls so far this month have the Liberal Democrats back up in double figures.

The poll also asked about confidence in the Brexit negotiations, finding predictably low figures. 28% of people said they were confident Theresa May would get a good deal for Britain in the Brexit negotiations, 70% were not.

There was, however, not much more confidence that alternative Prime Ministers would do any better. 28% were confident Jeremy Corbyn would get a good deal were he Prime Minister, 67% were not. If Boris Johnson was PM 33% would be confident he’d get a good deal, 64% would not.

Full details are here.


389 Responses to “Ipsos MORI/Standard – CON 39, LAB 37, LDEM 13, UKIP 2”

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  1. Time for an actual election

  2. NICKP

    I hope you’re correct, but May seems to want to emulate the band of RMS Titanic.

    At least the Con conference could be interesting for a change.

  3. UKIP only 2% stands out to me.

    Not much left for Cons to squeeze from them then.

  4. Brinkmanship.

  5. So Evan Davis gets the job of 5PM presenter on Radio 4.

    Brought up in Surrey, took 1st class Honours in PPE at Oxford, worked on the development of the Poll Tax, crossed BBC picket lines.

    The ideal “neutral” to consolidate the Tory hold on Radio 4 news background and political programmes. When on Today he once ventured as far north as Manchester and claimed the North`s transport problem was negligible compared to the South-east`s, scorning cross-Pennine needs.

  6. “EU sources” are giving a pretty consistent line re the debacle of May at Salzburg, as far as I can see.

    eg – this from Robert Peston Brussels officials say that Barnier, Juncker and Tusk wanted to help May turn Salzburg into a stepping stone towards a deal, rather than an impasse.
    “We were so ready to help” says one.
    But she and her officials made two serious miscalculations, they say:
    1) they say she was too aggressive, both in her article setting out what she wants in the German newspaper Die Welt, and at last night’s dinner;
    2) she was naive in thinking she could appeal above the heads of Barnier, Juncker and Tusk to EU leaders, when those leaders have more pressing issues on their plates and delegated the substance of talks to Barnier for a good reason.

    I don’t think it matters whether there’s an element of spin in these briefings (there usually is). Salzburg may be the final realisation by the UK Government, that the UK can’t continue to believe that its traditional imperial policy of “divide and rule” can succeed.

    Given the association of the von Trapp family with Salzburg, one can almost imagine the leaders of the 27 donning nun’s costumes at the session where May was excluded and singing “How do you solve a problem like Theresa?”

    “I hate to have to say it
    But I very firmly feel
    Theresa’s not an asset to the abbey”

  7. Davwel

    I actually think that Evan Davis was quite good as an economics correspondent, and he had a flair for explaining concepts. I preferred him in that mode.

  8. BZ

    “At least the Con conference could be interesting for a change.”

    Sun correspondent reporting CCHQ try whitewash Chequers from conference… no mention allowed in event names… last night denied a formal ban, but were unable to explain why none of the 400 meetings in their official conference guide contained the word “Chequers.

  9. No deal unless May is willing to compromise on customs border in Irish Sea separating N.Ireland from mainland UK.

    A no deal would not be accepted by Parliament, so either election or referendum would be required.

    There is no way May could engineer Parliament to avoid a no deal Brexit from being blocked. Votes of no confidence, bills being amended, finance bills/measures voted down etc.

  10. OLDNAT

    Sad. I did only say “could”.

  11. To be fair the EU have always said that its either EEA or Canada and they weren’t going to budge from that at this summit.

  12. @Trevor Warne – (fpt) – “Do I need to compound out the additional 0.5% per annum growth we MIGHT have had if we’d never joined the EU or is that one parallel universe you can’t access?”

    Look on the bright side Trev. At least you’ve learned about how to compound interest since coming on to UKPR.
    :)

  13. Prof Howard

    “To be fair the EU have always said that its either EEA or Canada”

    I don’t think that’s the case. What the EU have said for a long time is that as you progressively apply May’s red lines the possibilities open to a post Brexit arrangement are progressively reduced.

    It’s May’s Government that have chosen to restrict the options.

  14. A few ultra remainers bleeding to LibDem. Come a general election most would probably go Labour since the LDs are far away from victory in most seats and Corbyn really gets his game on at election time.

    Even if May delivers the best (least damaging) Brexit, Labour will stand on an anti-austerity, popular policy ticket next time round and the Brexiteers will jump ship in the right places. 42% and no majority… No comfortable majority for 31 years.. Tories should be worrying.

  15. Once again the Tory government is using hostility to Russia to try to obscure the mess it is making in the EU negotiations. Tonight the10 pm R4 political programme dutifully reports our UK Defence Secretary`s aggressive visit to the Ukraine.

    The “annexation” of Crimea in 2014 is spoken of as a fact, with no mention that a large majority of the 2 million people there voted to move back to Russian allegiance.

    And the BBC never comments that it was only in 1954 that Crimea was transferred from the Russian SFSR to Ukraine.

    Democratic votes are not matters that the BBC respects when they are made by left-wingers or peripheral UK polities.

  16. It seems increasingly likely that the lifespan of the current UK Government is limited, and that the UK Parliament will be dominated solely by Brexit issues.

    Under these circumstances, the pretension that the Tories need DUP votes to govern England seems increasingly bizarre.

    To avoid the probable catastrophe of a no deal crash out from the EU, all that is required is a Parliamentary majority for the least damaging deal (while protecting those like Corbyn who need to argue that the wording of the referendum question trumps everything else).

    I understand the argument from Remainer British Nationalists that losing the UK’s voice in the EU reduces the UK’s influence. But staying within the orbit of the EU maximises any influence that the UK could exercise – so it’s better than damn all.

    I also understand the argument from Leaver British Nationalists that staying in any union that they don’t control would be injurious to their national prestige.

    There are 50+ MPs outwith Lab/Con who support SM & CU membership. If half of the Con/Lab MPs agreed, there’s a majority for that minimalist leave version which meets the terms of the referendum.

    Of course, I also understand that the manoeuvrings in Lab/Con as to which faction gets to govern England is vastly more important.

  17. Davwel,

    “with no mention that a large majority of the 2 million people there voted to move back to Russian allegiance.”

    That is because that vote had about as much credibility as any other under Putin…Called at short notice, under control of the Russian authority, with a makeshift electoral register, systematic suppression of those opposing it, total media control by the pro Russia side, polling stations guarded by pro Russian militia, ballot papers and count being overseen by the FSB.

    Do you live in a Trump like bubble rather than the real world?

    Peter.

  18. I am going far away for a sabbatical in the upcoming term. I shall not be contributing to UKPR until next year when I come back.

    I would like to thank you all for your interesting analysis and I look forward to seeing you all next year.

  19. Prof Howard

    Don’t forget to come back to UKPR though! Your comments are always worth reading, and (usually) very illuminating.

    Have a good sabbatical, and come back to your job (and here) refreshed and reinvigorated.

  20. Profhoward,

    Where you going that doesn’t have the internet?

    Peter.

  21. Do you think that Mrs May has just realised today that the EU means what it says about its principles? She’s been acting like she’d never heard of them for the last two years and Chequers still breached them and was therefore never going to gain acceptance.

    So much wasted time.

    Even if something is cobbled together by November do you think anyone will believe it?

  22. @[email protected]

    I suspect that is what a EEA outcome would be where TM would instinctively go.

    Unfortunately, the 50-60 [email protected]****s on her right wing are holding her back.

    I was very confident of a deal, I think I revise my outlook to optimistic of a deal now. The probability of a Government collapse and GE increases.

  23. Peter Cairns

    While Prof Howard has been reluctant to reveal his discipline, I can exclusively reveal that he is Regius Professor of Chronology (has been so for the last 3 centuries) and his sabbaticals are frequently to places and times where the internet does not exist.

  24. The Government Brexit negotiation strategy reminds me of a Brit travelling abroad, speaking english, and not being understood.

    They then respond by speaking more slowly and more loudy, until they are shouting, yet can make themselves understood.

    It seems to me the basis of the government negotiation is that the EU 27 are so desperate for us to stay, they will do anything to give us the deal. They thought the four indivisible strands of the single market were divisible.

    It quite obvious that these under!ying concepts were entirely wrong from the start, but the Government doesn’t seem to have seen it.

  25. Correction

    The Government Brexit negotiation strategy reminds me of a Brit travelling abroad, speaking english, and not being understood.

    They then respond by speaking more slowly and more loudy, until they are shouting, yet can’t make themselves understood.

    It seems to me the basis of the government negotiation is that the EU 27 are so desperate for us to stay, they will do anything to give us the deal. They thought the four indivisible strands of the single market were divisible.

    It quite obvious that these under!ying concepts were entirely wrong from the start, but the Government doesn’t seem to have seen it.

  26. I guess may finally drove into the wall tonight.
    The government is exactly where it was two years ago when may painted herself into a corner by adopting the impossibilsm of the cake position. There has no progress whatsoever on anything of any substance and May reassuring the british people that the country was fully prepared for no deal was both farcical and terrifying.

  27. @Catmanjeff

    Equivalence doesn’t really allow for divergence. I suspect the agent out and diverge later plan has been rumbled.

    It is Chequers that needs to diverge to either Norway or Canada.

  28. What’s notable about this particular MORI is the difference that there is between the headline VI and MORI’s ‘all those giving a voting intention’. The latter is:

    Con 36% (-2)

    Lab 40% (+1)

    Lib Dem 12% (+3)

    UKIP 3% (-3)

    Green 5% (+2)

    SNP/PC 3% (-1)

    Other 1% (-)

    So a four point Lab lead gets turned into a one point Con one. It’s a similar pattern to other polls and suggests that the Labour ‘reserve’is bigger than the Conservative one – providing they can get them to vote. The way in which the fall in UKIP hasn’t benefited the Tories should be a slight worry as well. And those Lab losses to Green and Lib Dem may be more retrievable if 2017 can be relied on.

    Lib Dems (and Greens) usually do better in MORI, and UKIP a little worse (I think it’s a telephone poll effect), but the Lib Dem figures are still pretty good and they actually manage the same vote retention as the two main Parties in this poll (83-84%).

    Oddly enough the low figures on getting a deal may be sort of good news for the government as it might imply that people see it as being out of their hands (May’s figures have actually improved marginally since July). But it’s more likely to hint towards potential dissatisfaction once that failure is confirmed. Boris’s slightly less bad figures are possibly due to true believers convinced their hero can save them, but the tables might suggest it’s also people being sarky.

    One thing in the poll that might worry the Tories is that the Economic Optimism Index is now at its worst since 2011-12. This often indicates future problems for the government – though the cause and effect aren’t simple.

  29. Reggieside

    Or, as Faisal Islam puts it After spending two days suggesting to several EU leaders directly that they are not ready for no-deal – and having a piece of compelling evidence for that in the form of a leaked notice from their airports sector – I can only conclude that they are utterly confident that no-deal will be terrible for the UK and only merely awkward for them.
    And some nations such as the Netherlands and Ireland are incredulous that they are more prepared for no-deal, a stated possible consequence of UK policy, than the UK itself.
    There is nothing the UK could do to dissuade the EU27 from this fundamental judgement about who will be damaged.
    They are showing now that they think, in the Brexit parlance, that they hold all the cards.

  30. Oldnat,

    “his sabbaticals are frequently to places and times where the internet does not exist.”

    I’ve know about that since his post tomorrow!

    Peter.

  31. @ROSIEANDDAISIE

    My view on the negotiations to leave the EU are, that since the original decision was taken by UK voters as a whole, the complex work to enact that decision should then have been undertaken by Parliament, on a cross-party basis.

    In truth the problem was not the referendum but the voters. There was an expectation that the politicians do what the electorate wanted and the problem was while people voted to leave they did so for very different and often contradictory reasons.

    The first task would have been to reach a decision as to what the best form of leave would look like.

    I believe it was clear from the outset what the UK wanted. They basically wanted all the ‘good’ bits with none of the ‘bad’ bits.

    The second to negotiate it.

    And May did, I think the Chequers plan was almost what the UK electorate would have tolerated, after all we would have symbolically have left the EU but still be under it’s orbit we could claim that any decision to follow the EU as made by parliament, basically all the good bit and none of the bad bits.

    Instead, Cameron’s crass decision has led to a continuation of an unresolvable war within the Conservative party, in Parliament and at large, and we are still not at stage one – plus they don’t even have a governing majority on their own!

    His decision was not crass it was tactical, it got him an overall majority, I am no supporter of his but he and Osborne despite my view of them being rather unhelpful in terms of the economy knew how to keep their base on board however hindsight is a great thing but I wonder how many people would have switched their vote to Miliband, He basically talked about the problems we face long before they seem to be fashionable, squeezed middle of yester year is the JAMS, th e questions of who is a predatory capitalist now can be turned into who isn’t……

    It was a UK-wide decision – as leavers regularly remind us – and should have been negotiated on that, wider, basis, instead of via the embarrassing in-fighting that we have witnessed for the past two years.

    It was not an overwhelming majority and as I said LEAVE was a combination of multiple factions some deeply opposed to each other but they came together to win the EU referendum. it was always seen as a blue on blue affair and it was that which was so frustrating being someone who campaigned for remain. There was no kumbaya moment. The nearest was Daniel Hannan on Newsnight when he suggested that the vote basically said we should join the EEA the day after the vote. What was clear was that in the Tory party this was always was going to be a power struggle between different factions and for Labour it was always going to be a stick to hit the government with.

    Simply put there is blame for everyone including sadly myself, we did not argue about policy before we got to the idea of the EU referendum and most remainers took the EU for granted. Considering the issue of the day: such as austerity globalisation the lack of skill, personal debt, lack of housing and many other which have nothing to do with EU we have seemingly lumped all our eggs into the Brexit/Bremain basket and the problem is that these baskets do not solve these problems I have highlighted

    I have to admit how much like Iraq this feels. We have moment of euphoria on one side followed by despair, followed by anger. For me Brexit was a decision that was had poor planning and decision making at its’ heart and whilst I reckon that we may have left the EU but in truth we voted for this without a plan but a hope that the EU to bail us out. They have not.

    I think they had accepted that we could arrive at a no deal and were prepared for it much earlier than we appreciated. I also believe we never looked in detail at the example of Switzerland in terms of how the EU negotiates (they agree a position and stick to it) WE could have had a thin deal long ago and be basically talking about what the hell policies we need which would be where we would have been had their been no EU referendum

  32. Just maybe, there isn’t much “control” by the UK – even in those areas immune from those nasty foreigners in the EU (as opposed to those nice foreigners in Washington).

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/belgian-probe-implicates-britain-phone-spying-165331709.html

    “A confidential report by Belgian investigators confirms that British intelligence services hacked state-owned Belgian telecom giant Belgacom on behalf of Washington”

  33. DAVWELL
    Of course if Stalin hadn’t starved those five million Ukrainians to death the electorate today might be less split.

  34. David Colby

    You cite a good argument why policies developed by the leaders of an empire in the interests of their core people shouldn’t be imposed on other peoples to their severe detriment.

    Many looking at Ireland and Scotland in the 1840s would agree.

  35. EDGE OF REASON (from last night)

    1. Does [May] immediately call a Confidence vote in the HoC a la John Major over Maastricht? Or does she say “Ok, No Deal it is then!” and just carry on?

    A vote of confidence is possible but it doesn’t change anything. Rebellious backbenchers could vote confidence in her and then continue to do whatever they want. What she can’t do is make a vote a matter of confidence to force it through – that’s the point of that part of the Fixed Term Parliaments Act.

    2. If she does call a HoC Confidence vote, does she win it?

    I don’t think it matters (see above)- what matters is whether she loses a No Confidence vote (which has a specific form and must be debated as soon as possible). If she does lose such a vote – presumably proposed by an opposition Party (not necessarily Labour) – then there are 14 days for a motion of confidence in a government (which may be the same PM as previously) to be passed. Otherwise there is a general election automatically called at the end of the period.

    What happens in that 14 days is a bit of a mystery. Does the Queen ask the rejected PM to try again? Ask someone else from the same Party? Ask the Leader of the opposition? All of these – if so in what order? Presumably the Palace will be unwilling to appoint anyone as PM who has no chance of winning the subsequent vote of confidence, but assessing that may be difficult without appointing them first.

    One of the reasons this matters is that whoever is left holding the parcel when the music stops (ie has been appointed PM, but not confirmed when the 14 days elapses) gets to be PM for the length of the GE campaign. So who the Queen decides to appoint is important because there can’t be a vote of confidence in you until you have been appointed PM – no matter if it isn’t backed by the Commons. How does the Palace deal with Labour demanding Corbyn be appointed or Tory faction X insisting it should be Y? It risks dragging the Monarchy into politics, which they try to avoid so blatantly.

    3. If she calls a HoC Confidence vote and loses it, how does *that* play out? Do Tories and Labour both vote for a dissolution as in 2017, or does the FTPA come into play? If it does, do the Tories vote down Corbyn’s Queen’s Speech regardless of its Brexit content and take us into a GE anyway?

    The FTPA is always in play and if May loses a No Confidence vote, the 14 days starts. If the Queen did appoint Corbyn after that, his first task would be to win a confidence vote[1]. If he does, then losing a Queen’s Speech doesn’t matter, except that it would probably lead to a No Confidence vote, which does.

    Voting for an immediate dissolution after the first NC vote, might get round the problem of involving the Palace in government-formation[2].

    4. Assuming that if May loses a HoC Confidence vote we end up with a GE by one route or other, what do the Tories do? Presumably she would have to resign as leader, but they can hardly go into a GE without a leader so do the 1922 Committee suspend the normal rules and let the MPs elect the new leader in a matter of days? Does the likely result of such a vote mean that enough people would have fallen into line and backed her in a HoC Confidence vote to stop this from happening? Or would the ERG fancy their Brexit chances better with someone like Javid at the helm?

    It’s very possible that a NC vote lost by the government could be reversed in the 14 days, especially if it was lost ‘by accident’ – narrowly with some MPs unavoidably elsewhere – or reversible by concessions to other groups of MPs. It doesn’t look good, but the government and May presumably stagger on. Even if a GE is called, there’s nothing to prevent her fighting it – it’s the Commons that has no confidence in here, not automatically the country. A divided Party doesn’t usually do well and the electorate may get distracted by the positioning of potential successors, but it might still be better than alternatives.

    Of course May might well feel that there was no point in going on (who could blame her). The detailed rules that the challenge and elimination ballots among Tory MPs take place under seem to be set on a whim by the 1922 each time in any case (I can’t find anything much written down – as opposed to “what happened last time”). In practice they could pressure the lower-scoring of the last two to withdraw – as happened last time under less pressure than that of an upcoming election. Alternatively they could arrange a coronation of some agreed figure when the Party was in a “Hang together or hang separately” mood, but who and under what terms would be the question.

    A new ‘cleanskin’ leader might help them in an election – Javid is the only plausible high profile one, though I suspect in an election campaign he might make May’s on-the-stump skills look good. But what can they campaign on? Their last-time USP of Brexit didn’t work then and they’ve only delivered confusion and internal division Evil Jezza clearly isn’t working, despite pretty much unanimous support from the media. Other issues tend to work against them. There’s no clear strategy.

    [1] There can be as many attempts to form government and PMs appointed as you can fit in the 14 days, but unless one of them gets a confidence vote through, the clock doesn’t reset and 14 days after the initial NC vote, the election is called.

    [2] I do wonder if last year’s use of the two-thirds vote to cause the GE and Labour’s willingness to agree was helped along by the Palace not wanting to get involved in the more elaborate route to a GE of a ‘staged’ NC vote.

  36. Just plugging the above numbers into electoral calculus to try and gauge how this translates into seats.

    On the current boundaries:

    Con 310 (-8)
    Lab 257 (-5)
    LD 21 (+9)
    SNP 40 (+5)
    Plaid 3 (-1)

    Very difficult for any party to govern on those figures. Unlikely to last a full term.

    On the new boundaries (remember 301 is a majority if the recommendation goes through):

    Con 295 (-9)
    Lab 232 (-6)
    LD 18 (+11)
    SNP 35 (+4)
    Plaid 2 (nc)

    Tories could rule with support from the DUP, but hardly a stable government.

  37. CMJ and others,
    Yes, the EU has just stuck to the same policy and TM keeps thinking they will budge. It is the foolish red lines she invented to appease the Brexit purists that are the problem.

    Peter Cairns
    I agree with you 100% that the annexation of Crimea was illegal under international law and the referendum was not conducted in a way that could validate anything.
    I would be interested to know what your solution to the issue would be though.
    1) Give Crimea back to Ukraine?
    2) Give Crimeans self-determination through a properly organised referendum?
    3) something else?

  38. One thing I’d add to Roger Mexico’s comprehensive summary is that I think the ball probably remains very much in May’s court for the 14 days.

    The long-standing convention in the UK is that PMs resign. They are not dismissed. This is formally followed even when they lose an election, although when the Leader of the Opposition secures a clear majority they resign immediately #

    That’s just the convention of course. It wouldn’t necessarily stand in a case of egregious abuse. But I don’t think a sitting PM taking the 14 days to try to put another majority together would be an egregious abuse. To the contrary, it was very much one of the purposes envisaged for the period when the bill was introduced.

    So it seems to me that TM can resign but is not obliged to, and that if she resigns she throws the Palace and in some senses also her party a hospital pass, so most likely she probably wouldn’t, and we would not have musical chairs for PM, just another vote after 13 days and then, if she loses that too, an election.

    # they do not when the Leader of the Opposition has not done so however. After “indecisive” elections Heath and Brown hung on for a few days of negotiation, and Baldwin all the way to defeat on the King’s speech.

  39. @ Roger Mexico

    Lots of fascinating scenarios now.

    I don’t TM will be subject to a humiliating no confidence motion by her own MPs, but the visit from the men in grey suits is getting close. What I mean by this is that she will be directly informed that she no longer carries the confidence of the Tory Parliamentary Party – she isn’t as arrogant as Thatcher and would undoubtedly resign beforehand rather than face and be forced out by a Parliamentary Party No Confidence motion. Things will move quickly here, and if she can’t pull the rabbit out of the hat by the next EU summit, she’s definitely gone. Hence the current anger in her voice, part humiliation but probably growing dread.

    The above scenario is the “no deal” scenario, and if she voluntarily resigns, who do the Tories choose? The hard right [email protected]*****s are unlikely to tolerate a moderate being appointed this time as they know the grassroots membership is with them….

    Her biggest problem of course is that even if she gets the deal at the next EU summit, the Government is going to really struggle to get the deal through Westminster. On the plus side for TM, if she does get the deal, she will be temporarily safe from being knifed by a majority of her own MPs until early 2019!

    However, I suspect she will have to make some form of closed door deal with Labour to get the deal through Parliament, as any deal is going to be so near Norway EFTA that it will be guaranteed to be opposed by the [email protected]*****s and possibly beyond.

    I suspect that any deal with Labour is to promise a General Election in May 2019 if Labour wave through whatever the EU and TM agree as a “deal”.

    A deal with the devil (Labour) is clearly one that involves guaranteed political destruction to May, but there is no chance she will lead the Tories into the next election anyway. TM will havecalculated that this is probably the only way to an orderly Brexit.

    To be fair to TM, she is quite prepared to sacrifice herself to save the UK from no deal cliff edge. But Corbyn will demand the May 2019 GE so that May can jump off the cliff instead of the country.

  40. Jones.

    ”To be fair to TM, she is quite prepared to sacrifice herself to save the UK from no deal cliff edge. But Corbyn will demand the May 2019 GE so that May can jump off the cliff instead of the country.’

    You may be right be how do you know?

  41. I remain entirely of the opinion that Brexit is not going to happen. What happened yesterday is that – possibly due to Macron having a rush of blood to the head – the EU started to close the trap sooner rather than later.

    Those journalists with the best information from Brussels (Guardian, Peter Foster in Telegraph) always said that the EU was not softening.

    The Guardian quoted EU sources as saying (charmingly) that the UK would “face its darkest hour” and then give in.

    There is a majority in Parliament who will do their bit by voting down any attempt to resist the tactic. (Barnier knows this, he spends enough time in meetings with those concerned.)

    Once the UK concedes the principle of staying in the EU Customs Union and Single Market, then Brexit rapidly collapses.

    Things can go wrong for the EU-Remainer axis:

    – They could precipitate a general election which the Conservatives win.

    – The EU could get another rush of blood to the head and impose conditions to UK remaining – those in talks with the EU are hoping for standard EU procedure and a few meaningless concessions on free movement.

    – A no-deal scenario could win a referendum – hence Matthew Paris reporting that Remainers want a talking of a referendum where “Bad Brexit Deal” is directly pitted against “Remain”.

    So, I hold by what I have said since the election. It is not going to happen.

  42. Jones,

    Once interpretation is that May is doing the opposite.

    There appears to be a HOC majority for a deal that involves remaining in A customs union with the EU and (with a lower majority) for virtually SM membership in turn for some easy movement arrangement.

    This requires her to side with 40-60 (could be closer to 100 in reality once tested) of her own back-benchers but mainly would be carried by opposition parties.

    One view would be that if she really wanted to put country before party and avoid a cliff edge no (min) deal she would ignore the ERG and other Brexiteers in the Tory party as their is a HOC majority for a soft Brexit.

    Of course if that was a realistic proposition we have no idea what Corbyn would do, although I personally would expect Starmer and most of the PLP would support such a stance.

  43. OLDNAT
    Yes. It would be outrageous were Theresa May to act like Putin and send tanks in to reclaim The Irish Republic, or re-invade a post-independence Scotland because of what the polls might say.
    I’m glad we agree.
    :)

  44. @Jim Jam

    “There appears to be a HOC majority for a deal that involves remaining in A customs union with the EU and (with a lower majority) for virtually SM membership in turn for some easy movement arrangement.”.

    I have no reason to doubt that.

    The problem is that the HOC majority isn’t in the Tory and DUP ranks, and Labour scent blood. Labour will vote against the deal, that’s political reality.

    If TM wants to use the” grand coalition”, she must make a deal with Labour, and in doing so she signs her own political death warrant.

  45. The ipsos mori data seems to have more labour supporters than tory, but it then weights them according to expressed likelihood to vote, and ends up with more tories. If that is so, what labour need is a bit of voter motivating.

    People are very pessimistic about the economy. This is the same whether they are likely or unlikely to vote, but the young are more pessimistic and the old least, but all are severely net pessimistic. This might be because the old (55+) are generally pensioners or have pensions within sight, rather than relying on work?

    All party groups are net pessimistic, though tories are less pessimistic than the others. Interestingly, full time workers are more pessimistic than part/not working. Though this might be the same anwer as above, about people on or looking forward to pensions. Renter more pessimistic than property owners with mortgags, who are more pessimistic than outright owners. But again… older people are more likely to own or have paid off their mortgages, so its the same question is a different guise.

    The more qualifications someone has, the more pessimistic they are about the future!

    Same results when asked if may will get a good deal. No.

    People seem to think Corbyn would do a little better than May, BJ better still. I notice Corbyn is much more popular amongst private renters than either may or BJ. Might be a concern there for tories, that those unable to get on the property ladder dont like them much.

  46. Jones –

    ”If TM wants to use the” grand coalition”, she must make a deal with Labour, and in doing so she signs her own political death warrant.”

    Would not trying to do this be putting the country first though which would be potentially sacrificing herself for the good of the country (as she would see it)? Something you suggested she was willing to do whilst Corbyn wasn’t.

    I am not saying he would put country before party just that neither has the PM, or at least there is no evidence she has.

  47. @TW Many thanks for your helpful reply to my question on the last thread and for this link

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/internationaltrade/articles/whodoestheuktradewith/2017-02-21

    Contrary to what you may have hoped all this further convinced me that from the point of view of trade deals Brexit is an unbelievably foolish move. Two points:

    First there is the size of our various trading relationships. Just looking at exports in 2016 we seem to have sold 235 billion to the EU, 100 billion to the US and 184 to the rest of the world. Some of the latter (e,g, Japan and Korea) are covered by EU agreements although I couldn’t find the numbers.

    One must assume that Brexit will do some kind of harm to our trade with the EU and those with which it has deals. The only credible fix for this is a compensatory deal with the US with whom we do less than half the trade. In addition we are in surplus with them and I don’t see Trump anxious to do something that will continue that surplus. I do see him as likely to demand a lot of things that I don’t want like an ability to cherry pick our services. So economically I don’t see the US as making good much damage and practically I don’t welcome a deal with it at present.

    A second issue is distance. We do more trade with Ireland than we do with Japan or China and almost as much as we do with the two of them put together. This is not just because Ireland is in the EU. We do more trade with it than with Italy or Spain. So we are jeopardising trade with people with whom we naturally trade in the hope of deals with people with whom we do not naturally trade and who already have trading relationships in their own parts of the world.

    So all in all we are at one stroke jeopardising relationships with a large number of countries with whom we naturally trade in the hope of somehow striking op new ones with a myriad of different countries with whom for good reasons we do very little trade at all. It’s going to take ages to negotiate these new deals. They will all have downsides in terms of sovereignty. Where’s the sense in all of that?

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