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. Prof Howard,
    ” I shall not be contributing to UKPR until next year when I come back. ”

    Thanks for your input.

    I wonder…will May pull off a last minute can kick and we will still all be here just the same….

    “So much wasted time.”

    No. It is not waste. It has been spent in order to prove to voters that they have tried to get around the EU and totally failed. The aim was to prove no magic deal is possible, so they cannot be accused of not having tried.

    May needs the EU to talk tough now, so she can have closure on negotiations.

    I keep saying, this is a necessary step on the path of persuading leave voters that we have to remain. Not a sufficient step in itself, but a necessary part of the procss. Several people are commenting now on how they see a path to remain from this point.

    Of course, all the tories are doing is seeking to eliminate any possibility of compromise. To make absolutely clear the real possibilities. Others might argue this also clears the way for a no deal outcome, and those rejecting the notion of a grand conservative conspiracy need to take onboard that the steps thus far pretty much serve both leavers and remainers within the party. There isnt much need for machiavelli, when both sides can see their final benefit will lie in this process of reducing expectations from brexit, whether it ends in no deal or remain.

    The tories have simply agreed to disagree, and play out their attacks on versions of Brexit and each other. The voters will decide in the end, whether there is another referendum, or election, or simply the politicians reading the polls we talk about. However, most tories were remainers when this began, and must be remainers still, whatever they claim.

  2. There is no doubt that TM has been humiliated.

    In many ways, humiliation is worse than failure.

    I was expecting her to muddle and dither her way through to a SuperFudge, but I think this is now much less likely.

    I think the grey suits might be knocking at her door very shortly, and it might happen before the Tory conference. It might even happen today!

    Gavin Barwell has not received much attention in all this, but I detect his involvement. A genuinely clueless Housing Minister, who devised a huge raft of tinkering proposals that would achieve precisely nothing. When TM chose him, I thought it would probably all go wrong.

  3. @JOSEPH1832

    According to multiple sources, the reason that the EU hardened their stance stance was because May hardened hers. She wrote a op ed in Die Welt and said that Chequers was basically the only deal on the table. She back tracked on NI saying she couldn’t have a solution for NI backstop in November and more importantly she pretty much misread the EU trying to be nice to her.

    I think in many ways she was trying to appeal to the EU leader directly which has always been futile. Yet Hammond said it and other have said that if they could get to the leaders they would compromise

    Apparently even Orban was silent during the meeting and the Italians and other that you would suspect would be more euroskeptic pretty much sat back. The event reminds me of that fateful dinner where it was quite clear that the UK government has not a clue as to how to handle the EU indeed either they are clutching at straws or they really are stupid. Barnier gets his orders not from the commission but from the Council of Ministers and it pretty much shows how inept our political system is in understanding that.

    The is looking exactly like the Swiss issue over FoM. The EU will walk away it has no choice or else there is no need for the EU and everyone is in the EU because they understand that life outside is not as good. My view has always been that the UK has never understood the EU indeed we often come last in terms of knowledge of even the basics. MOre over everyone speaks English and thus understands UK politics to a level that we do not understand theirs. So many EU leader understood May as the Daily Mail PM.

    What has shocked me is that people really believed that a ‘good’ deal would happen. It shows in many ways that Brexit is an aspirational act based not on a set of facts but a set of emotions.

    My view is that we will crash out because we have set ourselves up to crash out. We voted narrowly for sunny upland and unicorns and hoped that the EU would just bail us out. Simply put they haven’t.

    I think the interesting thing is that this is such a clusterf#@k that the reason that May hasn’t been put out of her misery is hat no one want the job pre Brexit. Indeed if I was a politician (Remainer or Leaver) I would not want to step foot in No 10 until the dust has settled because I could claim that it ‘was done wrong’

    the problem with many who would think that is that they had no credible plans either. There was only ever three options simple thin FTA (I am nt sure why we keep adding loads of plusses), EEA membership or remaining. The problem is each one of those is not what we want but as I said in the end the voted for being in the EU but being able to override the group, have no FoM and pay no money. No matter how much we want it, that isn’t going to happen and more importantly no politician can say that.

    As a remainer, I find the fact that so many people on this site have taken so long to see what was going to happen when in my view it was obvious. Our red line and their red line means either no deal or a thin (using Gus ODonnell’s terminology) FTA. Indeed the EU main that point at the very beginning. WE just did not accept it. My view is that it is stupid to argue that having a custom checks between the Irish Island and the rest of the UK is breaking up the UK. we already treat NI differently as it is and when I was there there was lots of talk about harmonising Corporation tax with RoI because it just made too much sense

    Here is what Gus had to say in a lecture on Brexit

    I find his views quite compelling as a person that feels a plague on all their houses. I fear we have moved more to tribal politics than to policies and approaches that can be tested and as such I feel we are just missing a trick as a nation.

    @JIM JAM

    I am not sure that Corbyn is that concerned about Brexit. I believe had the UK voted to remain he would have had the same stance that he has now as I said above the Uk electorate voted for having just the ‘best’ bit of the EU and getting rid of the ‘worst’ bits.

    Indeed most of the EU has no worries about FoM within the EU their concern about migration is that from non EU nations and particularly the routes through Libya and Syria for obvious reasons. We conflate this concern with that of migration internal to the EU and we seem to not understand.

    Corbyn’s appear to be of the view that the Brexit is a sideshow and in that I am in total agreement. Remaining or leaving does not change most of the basic issue we face it was a particular weakness of the remain campaign. So my view is that he would do what is tactically necessary to force the government out since Brexit neither help or hurts him in that sense politically. Starmer has used the tests in the same way that Brown used his euro tests. You can keep saying we are not there yet and it helps that you are the opposition since in the end you cannot do anything but watch the Government fail or succeed.

  4. @MILLIE

    I am not sure that May was humiliated alone. I think DANNY has a point in that both sides are ‘testing’ their arguments to destruction.

    We the electorate asked to leave the EU. The problem was that Leaving the EU meant different things to different people and it is difficult to reconcile those differences let alone accept that whatever is chosen will hahve some negative (as well as some positive) repercussions.

    It was always going to fail since May correctly identified the red lines that the electorate voted for. If you ask most leaver the idea of taking control and not having shared responsibility made perfect sense. and that is what she tried to do which was have the EU membership without what was perceived as the bad bits. The point was that was not in our politicians gift to give and that is why it was doomed to fail.

    Had Leave said that we would have had a thin FTA and that the EU would defend their patch most people would have said we were defeatist and treasonous as it happens (and remember the Swiss went through the same thing) this is what happened.

    yes you can blame the politicians but ultimate we the voter gave them the hospital pass by 52 to 48.

    What you can blame our politicians for is the fact that we sold the EU as something that was only a hindrance and as such my only surprise is how small the lead for LEAVE was (if you did the doorstepping I did, I think it was looking closer to 60 to 40)

  5. Passtherockplease,
    “I believe it was clear from the outset what the UK wanted”

    The tories took time to consider the result of the referendum and I believe they concluded the only way anything like what had been promised could be delivered was through a total break with the EU. And that was the stance they took in the election they called to test support for this plan. The result was they lost. There was no majority to carry it out. Neither technical in terms of numbers of MPs, nor moral in terms of numbers of voters.

    So again they took stock, and decided they had to stop brexit, one way or another. Can kicking has been all about evading responsibility for whatever happens, trying to implicate the other parties, seeking any kind of compromise (between leavers, that is) which could be sold to the public. Making clear to voters the reality of the choices facing the UK.

    “They will all have downsides in terms of sovereignty. Where’s the sense in all of that?”

    There is no sense at all. I concluded before the referendum that brexit could not achieve any of the objectives it set out to achieve. No added sovereignty. No extra money. No drop in immigration. No scope for the Uk to make rules instead of following them.

    Much of the debate on here even from leavers is about mitigating the downsides of brexit, but there really arent any up sides.

    It is possible to imagine a future where the UK exists in splendid isolation. We would be much poorer, maybe thats a good thing. The foreigners would stop coming and indeed Brits would be emigrating. Its a choice to withdraw from being a trading nation governed by all the international rules with accompany trade.

  6. JIB

    “the [email protected]*****”

    Did you mean “the bastards”???

    I’m looking forward to a post containing only asterisks and acronyms


  7. @JamesB Al Urqa Norbold

    Many thanks for answering my question on the last thread on why the Labour Party was not supporting a second vote. Norbold suggests which seems to me in keeping with polling as exists that a majority of the party now supports this and that support comes from both wings.

    James B and Al Urqa both suggest that Labour’s reason for not coming out for a second vote is tactical. They don’t want to stir up a hornets nets in their own ranks but are happy to sit back and watch the conflagration in the ranks of their opponents.

    All this seems to me to be true but I wonder in addition there are not some more principled reasons. Jeremy Corbyn, I suspect, is a natural Eurosceptic and he talks to others with influence in the Party that share his genuine views. For these reasons, he stands out against another natural instinct which is to see the party as mass movement where the initiatives come from the grass roots.

    The figleaf that covers these divisions is the mantra that a second referendum is not ruled out, or will only be invoked in certain circumstances, or is kept in the back pocket and that what is really needed is a general election,

    Personally I think this indecision is bad for the country and will in the long or short run damage the party electorally, Conservative leavers are passionate about Brexit and have it as an article of faith that it will benefit or least not damage the country and their own interests. Labour remainers are equally passionate believing that Brexit will be economic armagedon for all concerned. Conservative remainers and Labour leavers are both much more pragmatic and less set in their beliefs.

    The strategy for the Labour party should be to be tough on Brexit and tough on the causes of Brexit, saying in effect that we have to remain but that the austerity and centralisation that fuelled Brexit have to be fought at all costs. That way they can avoid losing committed remainers to the Liberal democrats, appeal to the centre ground of economic pragmatists, and justify a radical programme for housing, NHS, apprenticeships, HS3 and the like.

    Given these douceurs, I doubt that many labour leavers are sufficiently committed to vote against their interests and go to UKIP or the conservatives. Tactical votes could be expected from Liberals and Greens and Labour could lend its tactical votes to the Lib Dems in those seats where they have a chance to win.

  8. Brexit was a vote for something that was politically impossible to deliver – this delusional clown car has now finally met the brick wall of reality.

    insane to have a referendum on something so ill defined – unlike referendums on equal marriage or changing the voting system.

    I have always belived it was never going to happen – and this has all but confirmed it for me. Crashing out will not be allowed to happen – nobody in with any power or influence wants it to happen outside a handful of tory headbangers – and even then half them are just posturing and blustering.

    Its a political disaster – its just a question of damage limitation. I think 2nd ref is ever more likely – its the obvious way out. Its deeply problematic, will cause a lot of resentment – but is easily the least worse option. The pressure for it will only grown from now on. The pressure on labour or lead on it may become irresistible.

  9. Passtherockplease,
    “What has shocked me is that people really believed that a ‘good’ deal would happen.”

    I just posted, May needed the EU to be firm and say no, so she could go home and say she had tried her utmost but there were no unicorns anywhere and rumours of them them were always untrue.

    “Corbyn’s appear to be of the view that the Brexit is a sideshow and in that I am in total agreement.”

    I dont agree. He personally might not be very impressed with the EU (7/10), but he knows absolutely that had labour adopted a clearly leave position in the last election they would have come a bad second, maybe conceivably a third to the libs.

    But nor do I think 7/10 is a bad score for the EU, and many of the politicians denying May yesterday might have said something similar if they are honest. We all know it is not perfect and it has to be a compromise between the members.

    Thus my constant arguments labour has to keep onboard the remain vote if they intend to win anything, and even my suggestions it would not be a bad strategy for torys to just come out and switch to remain, having said they have explored all the leave options and all are horrible.

  10. Reggieside: I think 2nd ref is ever more likely – its the obvious way out.

    I agree that it’s the obvious way out, but I don’t think it will happen because of the loss of face it would involve.

    I fear we have no current or potential political leaders with the leadership skills to extricate the UK from its current gadarene rush towards a no-deal brexit.

    Unless the government can either accept the current EU backstop proposal or come up with an acceptable alternative in the next 27 days (till the EU summit on 18 Oct), then negotiations will have broken down. The WA will not be signed. There will be no November special summit, and the clock will continue ticking inexorably down to 29 March.

    I don’t think the reality of that position has really sunk in yet. The country is proceeding on an “it’ll be all right on the night” basis. And believing there are still months or years to sort things out.

    But as things stand there are not months or years. Just 27 days.

  11. Reggieside,
    ” I think 2nd ref is ever more likely – its the obvious way out. ”

    Unless it delivers another leave vote, which would just leave the politicians in an even more impossible situation than they are now.

    I am doubtfull about having another election to solve this problem, because fundamentally it would not. Whoever won – maybe no one – would still have to do something about brexit without any clear mandate. Similarly, if a referendum does result in remain it would provide some cover but the row would continue endlessly.

    But there are no longer any nice solutions.

    For tories to allow an election they would have to have an agreed platform. Any suggestions?

  12. As my dwindling but ever-loyal little band of readers will know, I’ve been sceptical about the usefulness of the post Brexit referendum VI opinion polling, mainly because of the shadow it has cast over all other political issues ever since. I didn’t really see us getting back to anything like normality in domestic politics until the negotiations had concluded and all the hype, bluster and speculation had distilled into cold reality. In terms of polling, I always thought that this fevered hiatus helped the Tories in the sense that they had in effect eaten UKIP alive and become, de facto, the nation’s sole Brexit party. Accordingly, the Leave vote had coalesced around them and, despite their many domestic policy woes, this 40% or thereabouts would stick with them whilst we were still on the bucking Brexit Bronco and May was our only, albeit hapless, jockey.

    To some extent, I still stick with that theory and it’s why I’ve tended to to dismiss the rather disingenuous claims that Labour “should be 15-20% in the polls by now.” I now add a slight caveat though. I think we may be at a stage, such has been the rolling shambles of May’s premiership and her handling of the negotiations, that Labour really should be doing a tad better than they are. The fact that they aren’t suggests to me that they’ve shipped some water over the summer and that the antisemitism row has damaged both Corbyn personally and the party generally. The sub VI polling data suggests this and points to Corbyn’s ongoing difficulties cutting through as a potential PM.

    Which leads me to this question, more pertinent now than it was say 12 months ago, and with a GE looking ever more imminent and likely. Which party has the greater capacity to improve on these current polling ratings? Corbyn proved the best campaigner of them all only 16 months ago and, pending this week’s party conference, has much the better chance of devising cunning “wrong-footing” policies in the way that opposition parties always can. A second referendum proposal could gain 1.5 million additional votes for Labour according to a recent poll. McDonnell could well slip in some interesting anti-austerity proposals too. Clever oppositions drive wedges into the cracks that incumbent governing parties always reveal. Much scope there too.

    Of course, Labour has problems of its own, and a range of potential vulnerabilities, but I get the sense that, of the two main parties, they have the greater possibility of improving on these current polling standings once the bugle is blown, the whistle is sounded and real politics returns. They have to play their cards well but I suspect they possess the better hand.

    Just idle thoughts of course from a man still celebrating Worcestershire’s recent T20 Vitality Blast triumph (we’ll gloss over our very recent relegation from the first division!). The Mighty Villa showing some signs of life too. 30,000 still turning up to follow the daft old club. It’s a religion really. Good to be alive (and retired!).

  13. PTRP

    Very good post, I think, and I agree with your conclusion.

    The letter below which appeared in the Irish Times says much more about the writer than the content and suggests a certain kind of Brexiteer. It also chimes with the ignorance of Mrs May over Norway and the Customs Union. Both lack a sense of realism. Here is the link and the second paragraph of the letter

    “Perhaps you will permit me, an ordinary British citizen, to bluntly tell your readers what my persistently pro-EU and mealy-mouthed government is still reluctant to say: that once the United Kingdom has left the EU it will be none of the EU’s business what goods are permitted in Northern Ireland, or any other part of the United Kingdom and its internal market..”

  14. Jonesinbangor,
    ” if she can’t pull the rabbit out of the hat by the next EU summit, she’s definitely gone. ”

    The reason she got elected was so she could go down in flames when it all went horribly wrong. Why take her out of that role just when it is about to happen?

    “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”. ”

    If labour waves through any sort of deal, they would lose that election. Not much point in that bargain.

  15. I think a 2nd ref is more easily realised than a antoher GE.

    If (still a big if) labour come out for a 2nd ref, an impending “no deal” scenario might lead to enough tories voting for it as well.

    I think that is more likely than tories voting against their own government to force a GE.

    The other alternatives are crashing out with no deal – i cant belive that will be allowed to happen because everyone bar a few headbangers thinks it would be disastrous.

    Or the EU allows more time for negotiations – its possible – but i think they will press their advantage and only allow it on the back of another GE or a 2nd ref (which again gives labour or whoever political cover to call one )

  16. CB11 – with you, Labour should be 10-15% ahead is nonsense while Tories get their base boosted by Brexit prioritizing voters but Labour probably should be 2-5% ahead.

    Can Corbyn the campaigner work a second time? Maybe and certainly he will get a chance to do so if the GE is before the end of 2020.

    McDonnell is over 2 years younger and a GE in 2022 with a 69 year old leader might be OK rather than with a 72 year old Corbyn as 77 and 74 is quite a difference by the end of the 5 years.

  17. Charles,

    I did reply also but much later as was out all day – so you may have missed.

    Not being obtuse but where is the evidence that a majoirty of trade unionists and LP members are supporting calling for a second ref. It may be there but I have not seen any, I have seen reporting of surveys saying this inaccurately.

    My local party debated this in July at GC and it was over 90% against a second ref, I think some self selecting surveys may be misrepresenting party members views while votes at union congresses are being said to show support amongst union members.

  18. @Charles

    I think they’d internally consider a strategy like yours to be too vulnerable to bad media coverage. It would be far too easy for everyone to get hung up on the fighting brexit part (which easily becomes betrayal, not ‘will of the people’ etc etc) and ignore the second bit about addressing the causes.

    This particularly applies to a non election period. I don’t think it’s likely, but I wouldn’t be surprised either, if, in the event of a GE, they do switch to an anti brexit stance. As 2017 showed, they can control the message much better during the official campaign period and successfully made it about the NHS and public services last time.

    And yes, internal divisions certainly play a part. Corbyn and some of his closest allies are clearly somewhat eurosceptic and see it as an obstacle to some of their more radical policies. Personally I don’t think there is public support for anything so economically ‘left’ that it would come into conflict with EU internal laws, just as there is little public support for the kind of low regulatory USA style economy that the ERG wants to see which is why leaving the EU on such a basis is completely pointless but that logic never stopped a politician wanting to do something.

    Also it’s a sad reality that brexit has been from the start about internal party politics. It’s only added to my list of reasons of why we need a proportional voting system. Specifically it would almost certainly split labour and the tories in two and we’d actually get a proper grasp of just how much (or little) support the more radical wings have from the public rather than this being the preserve of party membership and haggling.

  19. James – spot on for the most part and the big debate in the Labour leadership is just what is the Brexit position if their is a GE.

    This depends on when of course but don’t expect a remain position. Labour need the meme of incompetent Tories and that we would have negotiated much better with the EU. So if time-tables allow (and this can include an A50 extension) I expect Labour would still have Brexit delivery but with clearly Bino signposting and hints of not ruling out a re-vote if their is no other way forward.

  20. @jim jam

    “My local party debated this in July at GC and it was over 90% against a second ref, I think some self selecting surveys…”

    What is a GC if not very self selecting? I’d suspect attempting to at least start from a representativish sample via a yougov etc panel and then filtering by a ‘are you a union member?’ question is going to pick up a far less ‘politically interested’ sample than those who can be bothered to spend a day of time going to a GC and talking politics.


    “Its a political disaster – its just a question of damage limitation. I think 2nd ref is ever more likely – its the obvious way out. Its deeply problematic, will cause a lot of resentment – but is easily the least worse option. The pressure for it will only grown from now on. The pressure on labour or lead on it may become irresistible.”

    I’d guess that they’d hoped the public might be a little less stubborn in opinion about it, it’s been a race of opinion change against a50 deadline and the reality is 90% of the change to a current slim remain lead is a mix of time (more leave voters dying and more remain voters coming of age) and DKs breaking in favour of remain – and there’s no guarantee the latter would actually vote if it comes to it.


    “Unless it delivers another leave vote, which would just leave the politicians in an even more impossible situation than they are now.”

    Except it does at least allow them to pin ownership of it on the electorate, if, that is, a new vote makes it perfectly clear that whatever deal is the deal and that’s what they’re getting.

  21. @ JAMES E – I will clarify some points but we’ll need to take a few steps back in the logic first. IMHO:

    – not all trade is “good” trade (I’m firmly in the comparative advantage camp not the ne0liberal beggar thy neighbour camp and have posted lots of evidence supporting this view)
    – not all countries are “good” trading partners (countries that actively seek a twin surplus are not good partners, countries that seek to bully others are not good partners and countries that prevent others from doing their own deals are not good partners)
    – not all trade deals are “good” (a combination of above two points where the judge of “good” is the UK electorate and economy – not EC or a EU27 electorate or economy)

    Therefore IMHO, from a UK perspective, the intra-EU deal is cr4p and the few deals they have with non-EU aren’t that great for UK either. IMHO we could have done better if we’d never joined EU in early 1990s but I don’t have ALEC’s time machine to parallel universes to be 100% certain of that (not to 0.1% of GDP anyway!).

    However, better late than never!

    Moving on:
    – WTO terms for goods have fairly low tariffs, CET for agri-food being the notable exception (ie agri-food aside moving to WTO terms is nothing to be afraid off either with EU or with others)
    – Recent WTO and WCO focus has been on “max fac” Trade Facilitation type areas to lower NTBs, outside of EU we can push global solutions, especially in services.
    – Some EU deals have some parts we will find useful but looking through the list of products and countries it isn’t very much (please provide evidence to show trade in which products from which countries you are worried about losing if we don’t “copy+paste” – not a Chris Leslie comment about losing an AA/EPA with some tiny countries that EU wants to suck into their “sphere of influence”, genuine data)

    Hence, I don’t drink the ne0liberal corporate elite kool aid that “no deal” will be a disaster (and neither does TOW). I am worried about food, not much else.

    (TANGENT): I am very worried May+co won’t implement the “Strong Mitigation” required for a rapid adjustment to WTO – it’s currently open season on poaching UK businesses and we’re just sat their doing nothing. Laissez Faire has to end.

    I accept we should try to “copy+paste” deals if we can but only to “smooth” things over, deliver on political promises and settle some nervousness but I’m not hung about it if we don’t. This aspect is more about the “journey” not the destination. If Fox misinformed, or in your opinion l1ed, then he is hardly the first politician to do so!

    Ultimately our trading relationships should revisit the concept of “good” trade with “good” partners to secure “good” deals. The type of trade, partners and deals being based on the needs of the UK electorate and UK based businesses that employ UK workers across the whole of the UK and pay UK taxes. Having govt accountable to the UK electorate should be a strong incentive for UK govt to do what is in UK’s interest.

    The journey to get their will be a challenge and probably take 5-10yrs+. It will be bumpy and not every single person or business in UK will “win”. However, given the current huge trade deficit with EU in goods and the path of future growth and opportunities outside of the EU then IMHO we can make it work in aggregate and given a more proactive govt can certainly make the journey less bumpy if we start making an effort to at least try to make Brexit a success.

    I’m not going to say that in 15yrs time we will definitely be 7.2% better off than if we could reverse time and vote Remain in Jun’16 – but I firmly believe our opportunities are better outside of the EU than staying in it.

    I respect others disagree at the next GE they can vote accordingly.

  22. I do wonder at those who say that it is an extreme form of Brexit if the U.K. actually leaves the EU’s jurisdiction, whilst a normal form of leaving the EU involves basically agree to do what it tells us.

    I look forward to Sturgeon calling for Soft Independence, and demanding an end to Scottish representation in Westminster, but for little else to change.

    The absurdity of a Soft Brexit is why there will be pretty much no time between it being accepted and the call going up that we might as well stay in. That is the end point of Labour’s journey, and quite intentionally so. Same for Tory Rebels.

  23. @SAM

    Your links are always good but this one is brilliant

    His title and initials “Dr DR” are a joke surely.

    The passive aggressive “Perhaps you will permit me” followed by “Irish satrapy” in the next paragraph.

    I copied and pasted to my son on WhatsApp and he thought for a second it was satire.

  24. Well I am in a minority on here – I think we are very likely to crash out with no deal in March.

    Why? Because the strength of a reaction to humiliation can never be underestimated – politicians (and all of us in the right circumstances) would rather do the wrong thing than the embarrassing thing.

    Corbyn wants an election more than anything, and would be quite happy for the UK to exit the EU as long as Labour are not on the hook for the consequences. In fact his dream scenario is probably a chaotic exit followed by Tory Government collapse. He will not bail out May.

    The Bastards are the closest they have ever been to their dream of EU exit and a full-on ne0-lib, low reg, low tax future – they surely aren’t backing down now.

    So the two key groups that can will not help May achieve a result; and – as some of us have been saying for two years – the EU will not and cannot offer a compromise that fundamentally damages their raison d’etre.

    That leaves ‘no deal’ as the only likely outcome; May (or her replacement) will say that the EU have failed to negotiate or compromise, coble together whatever they can in damage limitation, and jump off the cliff in the hope that a wave of patriotic fervour from the 52% will keep them in power.

    Corbyn will hope that a chaotic exit leads him to No 10 and the chance to launch a socialist future for the UK in a context where he can blame Tory incompetence for any downsides for at least the first five years.

    And the rest of us will watch from the side in growing horror and despair…

  25. @ CHARLES – “One must assume that Brexit will do some kind of harm to our trade with the EU”

    Yes. Given our monster trade deficit in goods with the EU then, with a proactive govt response, I hope and expect:

    A large drop in UK imports from EU split between:
    – making more “stuff” at home (UK jobs for UK workers)
    – switching some EU suppliers to rWorld (with lower tariffs and “agriculture for services” based trade)

    A smaller drop in UK exports to EU, compensated for by larger growth potential for UK exporters outside of EU.

    It is not about the past, it is about the future!

    Fix the current account deficit x increase domestic productivity = stronger real wage growth + higher taxable base in UK

    Higher taxable base in UK = sustainable increases in govt spending.

    @ ALEC – Well it always depended on which numbers you compounded. The whole idea of 15yr predictions is absurd as “garbage in” assumptions compounded for 15yrs simply compounds the level of garbage.

    My view has always been to do whatever you can to improve trend growth/capita (increase productivity, etc) and manage the short-term issues as they pop up.

    However, I am aware the 15yr crystal ball nonsense seems to be popular and hence am doing what I can to see some of the “garbage in” assumptions changed
    (and not to Minford assumptions – he goes too far the other way)

  26. @TW
    I can’t help feeling that your posts are just unicorns garnished with lots and lots of economic jargon…

  27. Bigfatron,

    “I can’t help feeling that your posts are just unicorns garnished with lots and lots of economic jargon…”

    I was going for lots and lots of unicorns and just some economic jargon!


  28. Excellent reply post by RM on page1.

    I don’t think anyone expected EU to accept Chequers but the brutal slap down has pushed the clock forward on the scenarios, can kicking to Oct then Nov is no longer possible.

    IMHO the only thing that has changed since pre-Salzburg is that the “Gove” option has gone
    (ie the option to kick the can past 30Mar’19 then “fix” Brexit later)

    IMHO the “humiliation” offers May an opportunity to:
    – CHANGE Chequers herself (I have a speech ready!)
    – take an “honourable(ish)” exit and pass the leadership on (possibly via a caretaker PM like DD, full leadership battle later?) – I have his speech ready as well (basically the same one!)

    However, I doubt she will do either in which case who takes her out, how and when? IMHO it will fall on one side of CON to do so via a HoC vote (e.g. CON-Remain in the trade bill or meaningful vote). An HoC confidence vote into/after Oct EU Council meeting has also risen in probability. CON confidence vote still IMHO unlikely (48 being much less than 159)

    I still think this will end with a GE and have wanted one sooner rather than later (ie happy Macron+co. really put the boot in)

    The only other “missing piece” for a GE is for Corbyn to be dragged of the ambiguity fence. Sadly I think Cable gave him an out but I’m hoping intelligent, cosmopolitan, young LAB members and relevant trade unions are smarter than Sir Vince and know it will take more than a few weeks to legislate for and hold a new ref ;)

  29. James B

    “My local party debated this in July at GC and it was over 90% against a second ref, I think some self selecting surveys…” (JJ earlier)

    (Now James E responding )”What is a GC if not very self selecting? I’d suspect attempting to at least start from a representativish sample via a yougov etc panel and then filtering by a ‘are you a union member?’ question is going to pick up a far less ‘politically interested’ sample than those who can be bothered to spend a day of time going to a GC and talking politics”

    Fair point but I dint think in any event the party membership have been surveyed specifically and I was hazard that no to second ref would be the outcome. Should the Corbyn change tack and Starmer is still there the membership would support it also.

    Do you have the numbers for the union members supporting a second ref claim please, not being awkward I would like as it will inform my LP discussions.

    As per Norman yesterday – support is gathering in side the LP and a Tipping Point (Norman knows about these as a former winner) could be reached; personally I expect not as knee-jerk Corbyn support is high but I have been wrong many times.

  30. @ Bigfatron

    “Well I am in a minority on here – I think we are very likely to crash out with no deal in March.”

    I agree – it’s looked the more likely outcome for some time.

    May has consistently prioritised Conservative Party unity over economic concerns about the impact of Brexit. Many in her party should be pleased with the prospect of getting exactly what they wanted, so the possibility of a challenge to her leadership has (in my view) been reduced after Salzburg.

  31. BFR: Well I am in a minority on here – I think we are very likely to crash out with no deal in March.

    Well, you’re in a minority of at least two because I said much the same an hour or two ago about chronic aversion to loss of face and its likely consequences.

    However, I take some comfort from what seems to be the eagerness of the EU to show that its backstop proposal is no threat to UK constitutional integrity. The “border in the Irish Sea” need not be the deal-killer that May decries:

  32. EOTW

    Thanks very much.

    It struck me that there might be similarity in what the good DR was saying and the approach by Mrs May to the EU. She thought it possible to by-pass Barnier and speak directly to EU leaders as an effective rather than counterproductive way forward. Ireland, she believed, could be isolated and its negotiating position weakened. The NI border problem, she thought, was something that could be resolved in the final stage because that would enlarge the UK negotiating power.

    Is this approach a link between Dr Cooper and Mrs May?

  33. @Bigfatron:

    I think you are wrong in that Starmer is in charge of the direction of Labour policy. Corbyn May well have acted as a drag, but the direction of travel is clear.

    So, do the math, as the Americans say:

    – LibDems 12
    – Attending Nationalists 39
    – Greens 1
    – Lady Herman 1
    – Labour: 262

    Makes 314.

    So, how many deductions from Labour? How many would actually back the government if the EU holds it present position?

    The Caroline Flint-axis has generally fallen into line. If they can say they tried their best, they’ll be happy. There are the reliable rebels, but only four.

    Remain can count on 310 from the opposition when the crunch comes.

    Tories plus DUP equals 327.

    So they only need 9 rebels to defect if the issue is no deal vs 2nd referendum.

    They easily have that – and there are lots of backbenchers who join Grieve et al at this point. No need for Corbyn to call in favours from Sinn Fein.

    The only problem is how to do it without a change of government. If that is in the offing it will maximise Labour discipline, and you still only need 9 Tories who feel strongly enough about the EU to rebel.

    So I would be amazed if your team doesn’t get the referendum it wants.

  34. The UK government deficit widened unexpectedly in August . Disappointing news for Hammond ahead of his November budget: –

  35. @Danny

    “If labour waves through any sort of deal, they would lose that election. Not much point in that bargain”

    If they get a a guaranteed GE they will.

    And I’d like to restate that I think you’re a mile wide with your Tory remain Brexit hypothesis!

    We shall see in the next weeks and months.

  36. labour will fight no deal – they have already said its unacceptable. the unions, their own mps, their own membership are all very much against.
    the economic panic that would ensue if we approach a crash out will be severs – tumbling pound and ftse, city of london and CBI screaming. I cant that any politicians bar a few headbangers will not want to avoid it.

    If may comes back with a EU approved deal her own party will reject and so will labour – it will be BINO and utterly pointless – nobody will be happy with it.

    The big question is how the government gets out of this hole. may resigning is not going to help anything. Its 2nd ref, GE or crashing out – all three options are politically disastrous for the tories.

  37. The Court of Session has concluded in the case before it over the possible revocation of Article 50 that it is not, as argued by the UK Government, purely hypothetical and has requested the Court of European Justice to give a ruling on it.

  38. Joseph,

    I agree with your match on A customs union (might be 5 Lab rebels if Hopkins included) but for SM with now FoM nuance another 10 or so Labs are possible.

  39. Reggiside
    “I think a 2nd ref is more easily realised than a antoher GE.
    If (still a big if) labour come out for a 2nd ref, an impending “no deal” scenario might lead to enough tories voting for it as well.
    I think that is more likely than tories voting against their own government to force a GE”

    This is where, especially as time begins to run out, procedure becomes non-trivial though.

    The question is how?

    Or if you prefer, enough Tories voting for what?

    If the government comes back with a deal, it needs legislation to ratify, and the obvious answer is amend that.

    But if the government comes back with no deal, it has its legislation in place. So what are Labour and the Tory rebels voting on that will have the effect of putting in the legislative basis for Ref2?

    I know a lot see this as arcane detail, but it matters. Oppositions can only do so much, and they can’t do it quickly.

    The reality is, especially as time shortens, that Ref2 comes about in a no deal scenario only if the government changes its mind or the government falls.

  40. Here’s the sequence I think is most likely:
    – May tries to create an ‘amended Chequers’ that applies lashings of fudge to the EU’s objections
    – option 1: EU accept this (I think less likely than option 2)
    – May takes it to HoC: Bastards and Labour both vote against in a ‘amended Chequers’ or ‘no deal’ vote, and it fails.
    – May declares a mandate from HoC for ‘no deal’
    – Corbyn tries for ‘no confidence’ but fails as DUP continue to support May and Tory Remainers abstain.
    – May pushes ahead with ‘no deal’

    Or option 2:
    – EU rejects ‘amended Chequers’
    – May invokes ‘TINA’, blames EU and presses on to cheers from the Bastards
    – Corbyn tries for ‘no confidence’ and fails as above
    – May pushes ahead with ‘no deal’

    I simply cannot see any Tories voting ‘no confidence’ against their own government – I just don’t believe it will happen. And without that May will win any ‘no confidence’ vote.

    This feels like the most likely outcome to me…

    I think a 2nd ref is more easily realised than a another GE.

    I’ve been arguing this since what feels like time immemorial. Given a choice between a referendum which may be lost but still give them another three years in power and a general election which could very easily see them consigned to the back benches for at least five, there is no way that the Tories, whose raison d’etre is to be in government will be prepared to take this gamble. It may have been different if the antisemitism stuff had stuck over the summer, but even if it has had the effect of deflating Labour’s VI by a few per cent it doesn’t appear to have created much of a buffer, and not one which would be likely to stand up to the spotlight being shone on austerity, hospitals, education and everything bar Brexit as happened last time.

    It’s long seemed to me that a referendum is the only door to retaining power for the Tories, the question is more one of how it can be engineered by the Tories without losing face and all credibility.

    I think it’s anyone’s guess what the question would be, though, and whether it was a choice between terrible deal and remain or terrible deal and crash out, and equally uncertain what the outcome would be likely to be.

    Well I am in a minority on here – I think we are very likely to crash out with no deal in March.

    It does strike me as the most likely option now, with a highly risky referendum on a terrible deal and something else running it a close second.

  42. PM statement at 1.45pm from outside No 10.

    Here is a link to key parts of the Court of Session judgement:

    Apparently a preliminary EUCJ ruling could be given by December.


    I agree with argument that the only way to overcome a referendum is with another referendum but I think that not enough people want another referendum which is why I don’t think it would happen.

    The problem has always been about saving face and hence bloody mindedness is going to be the order of the day.

    My view was when May did her citizens of nowhere speech she was setting a stall for a no deal. Lancaster House only reinforced it and more over if you look at the polls that what people whom voted leave wanted. The problem not that she did not try and deliver on what the LEAVE vote meant, the problem is that it is clear that it was never going to accepted by the EU. The only interception of the two sets of red lines is a thin FTA. The point is no one wants that and expected the EU to cave in. They haven’t so it is plan B.

    What I found surprising is that Minister believed that Barnier was not doing what the CoM wanted as if he was freewheeling it that was just so wrong that it could be called inept.

    I have always said that the EU referendum and it consequences were basically a lack of understanding of the EU. It’s strengths and weaknesses. The biggest weakness is they have to agree there biggest strength is when they all agree. We confuse the former and the latter often because we were part of the group we could be the problem member because we were their problem member. The fact is we have moved from being a member to being a third party but we still believe we have the clout of a member. That is why our politicians have failed.

  44. Rabb was on a BBC tv Brexit Q&A this morning.

    I liked his stance & it was good to hear a UK Government view on Salzburg .

  45. Great to see the remainers finally starting to work it out and join the growing majority that expect “no deal”. It took a while but the penny eventually drops!

    Bit of a delay from May and not getting my hopes up but surely she has finally worked it out as well – no need for unicorns, or b4st4rds, just the Brexit she promised at Lancaster House and in the CON manifesto.

    We should certainly thank Tusk and his instagram account. That might well have been the final straw and has certainly done wonders to turn many of the “comfort zone” CON MPs.

  46. @BFR

    That’s a pretty fair analysis, and could well happen. My expectation of SuperFudge is looking less likely after the last 24 hours.

    But I think May will go, and she will have to carry the can that she has been kicking down the road.

    I’m guessing of course, but a Javid/Raab ticket has balance and might be accompanied by the removal, with suitable thanks, of Hammond, to be replaced with Gove. Rudd rehabilitated.

    Go for immediate popularity by abandoning HS2, which the Tory faithful loathe, and follow a two-pronged approach, of preparing for No Deal, but looking for No Deal Plus Plus, or almost anything along the lines of Canada or a much-amended Chequers. Or SuperFudge.

    By now both sides probably know where they stand on most of the issues, so it is now a matter of striking the best deal in the circumstances.

    We should have recognised the possibility of No Deal much earlier and pursued the scope for No Deal Plus Plus. But, as Raab has quickly recognised, that is the reality of where we are, and it has to be said loud and clear. It is not a question of playing a card, but a simple statement of reality.

    May is surely finished, and she might as well allow her reputation to be trashed in order to facilitate/salvage an agreement.

    A Chamberlain to Javid’s Churchill, perhaps. A book deal and some after dinner speaking beckons.

    Dither/fudge/can-kick is a legitimate device and you can go a long way in politics on that basis, but sometimes it just isn’t the right thing to do. This was one of those moments.

    Whether she is to blame is now not the point. She is now an obstacle, and I expect a coup. After the GE, that is now two huge failures: she is finished in my view.

  47. Apparently the statement will be from inside No10 but is delayed because there has been a loss of power in the room where it is to be made. A suitable metaphor perhaps for May’s position.

  48. Latest PeoplesVote poll is out but the field work was from 28Aug-4Sep. Looking at the poll it’s clear they timed the release for the LAB conf.
    YG making a lot of money of them – good for them!'sVote_180905_LabGains.pdf

  49. May’s speech will no doubt get the headlines, but that Scottish court case really is the big story today.

    from what I understand, the way is now open for a case to be made to the ECJ to clarify definitively whether or not the UK could cancel A50, and thus Brexit.

    It’s by no means a given that this would be agreed by the ECJ, but according to the Court of Session appeal, a judgement could come as soon as December. If MPs are able to vote down and deal while also having the legal authority to cancel unilaterally the A50 activation, then this blows wide open the entire Brexit process being presented by May.

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