There is plenty of new polling in today’s papers, including two polls proporting to show that large numbers of people would vote for new political parties. One by BMG for the Huffington Post, claiming 58% of people would consider backing a new party at the next election, and a ComRes poll for BrexitExpress, claiming 53% of people in a selection of Tory constituencies would consider voting for a single issue party campaigning to “conclude Brexit as quickly and as fully as possible”. There have been various other polls in recent weeks asking similar questions about how popular new parties would be.

These sound like large figures, but you should take them all with a huge pinch of salt – the reality is that quantifying the prospects of a new political party before it exists is an almost impossible task. Certainly it is not something that can be done with a single question.

First let’s look at the question itself. Polls tend to take two approaches to this question, both of which have flaws. The first is to say “Imagine there was a new party that stood for x, y and z – how likely would you be to consider voting for it?”. The problem with that as a question is that “consider” is a pretty low bar. Does thinking about something for a fleeting second before dismissing it count as “considering”?

An alternative approach is to say “Imagine there was a new party that stood for x, y and z. How would you vote if they stood at the next election?” and then prompt them alongside the usual political parties. This does at least force a choice, and sets the new hypothetical party alongside the alternative established parties, prompting to people to consider whether they would actually vote for their usual party after all.

There are, however, rather deeper problems with the whole concept. The first is the lack of information about the party – it asks people whether they would vote for a rather generic new party (a new anti-Brexit party, a new pro-Brexit party, a new pro-NHS party, or whatnot). That misses out an awful lot of the things that determine people’s vote. Who is the leader of the party? Are they any good? Do the party appear competent and capable? Do they share my values on other important issues? Can I see other people around me supporting them? Are they backed by voices I trust?

Perhaps most of all, it misses out the whole element of whether the party is seen as a serious, proper contender, or a wasted vote. It ignores the fact that for most new parties, a major hurdle is whether voters are even aware of you, have ever heard of you, or think you are a viable challenger. That is the almost insoluble problem with questions like this: by asking a question that highlights the existance of the new party and implies to respondents that it is a party that is worthy of serious consideration a pollster has ignored the biggest and most serious problem most new parties face.

That’s the theory of why they should be treated with some caution. What about their actual record? What about when people polled about hypothetical parties that later became real parties that stood in real elections? Well, there aren’t that many cases of large nationwide parties launching, though there are more instances of constituency level polls asking similar questions. Here are the examples I can find:

  • At the 1999 European elections two former Conservative MEPs set up a “Pro-Euro Conservative party”. Before that a hypothetical MORI poll asked how people would vote in the European elections “if breakaway Conservatives formed their own political party supporting entry to the single European currency”. 14% of those certain or very likely to vote said they would vote for the new breakaway pro-Euro Conservatives. In reality, the pro-Euro Conservative party won 1.3%.
  • Back in 2012 when the National Health Action party was launched Lord Ashcroft did a GB poll asking how people would vote if “Some doctors opposed to the coalition government’s policies on the NHS […] put up candidates at the next election on a non-party, independent ticket of defending the NHS”. It found 18% of people saying they’d vote for them. In reality they only stood 12 candidates at the 2015 election, getting 0.1% of the national vote and an average of 3% in the seats they contested.
  • Just before the 2017 election Survation did a poll in Kensington for the Stop Brexit Alliance – asked how they might vote if there was a new “Stop Brexit Alliance” candidate in the seat, 28% of those giving a vote said they’d back them. In the event there were two independent stop Brexit candidates in Kensington – Peter Marshall and James Torrance. They got 1.3% between them (my understanding, by the way, is that the potential pro-Europe candidates who did the poll are not the same ones who actually stood).
  • Survation did a similar poll in Battersea, asking how people would vote if a hypothetical “Independent Stop Brexit” candidate stood. That suggested he would get 17%. In reality that independent stop Brexit candidate, Chris Coghlan, got only 2%.
  • Advance Together were a new political party that stood in the local elections in Kensington and Chelsea earlier this year. In an ICM poll of Kensington and Chelsea conducted in late 2017 64% of people said they would consider voting for such a new party. In reality Advance Together got 5% of the boroughwide vote in Kensington and Chelsea, an average of 7% in the wards where they stood.

In all of these examples the new party has ended up getting far, far, far less support than hypothetical polls suggested they might. It doesn’t follow that this would always be the case, and that a new party can’t succeed. I suspect a new party that was backed by a substantial number of existing MPs and had a well-enough known leader to be taken seriously as a political force could do rather well. My point is more that hypothetical polls really aren’t a particularly good way of judging it.


662 Responses to “The perils of polls about “new parties””

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  1. Composite motions and block votes…

    It’s like the “Wheeltappers and Shunters Club!” all over again!

    It’s the 21st century and the Labour conference sounds like a Julian fellows script!

    Peter.

  2. Brilliant Smith

    A Canada style deal does not solve Theresa’s red line on the Irish border. How can she “unite around it”?

    Meanwhile I noted on the radio this morning the CBI were dead against a Canada style deal (the only time in history a country has negotiated a trade deal much worse than the one they had already, to paraphrase)

  3. Labour’s Brexit policy getting increasingly bizarre.

    ‘Having a referendum on the deal’ means accepting or rejecting the deal. At present, rejecting the deal encompasses the desire to leave without a deal or not leave and maintain the status quo, and it’s blatently undemocratic for politicins to remove any choice from the public.

  4. Re: Battersea 2017 – i was going to vote for the Independent Candidate but i just don’t think that they got the publicity to really cut through to the public, and the public also thought they didn’t stand a chance. Ended up changing my vote at the last minute. I think if you are standing in one constituency then you need to have more of a public presence before the election is called, the Battersea one seemed to me to be a case of deciding to do it when the election was called. Also difficult in just one seat as you are unlikely to get any publicity other than the odd piece saying independent X is standing in this constituency.

    Not sure if the Opinium poll has been commented on? Fieldwork Tuesday-Thursday last week

    LAB 39 (+1)
    CON 37 (-2)
    LDEM 9 (+2)
    UKIP 8 (+2)

    Labour in the lead for the first time in a few weeks, UKIP’s figure must be the highest since the time of the election being called?

    https://www.opinium.co.uk/political-polling-18th-september-2018-2/

  5. LAB’s statement on Brexit :-) :-) :-)

    Looks a lot like Remainers have been led up the Corbyn-McDonnell garden path of Opportunistic Extreme Brexit than along the Starmer Primrose Path to Remain.

    YG tracker on best party for “Britain’s exit from EU”

    CON 21
    UKIP 14
    LAB 14

    So a GE due to Brexit with only 14% thinking LAB would be the best party to negotiate! (lots of “none” for Remainers who aren’t going to back him now)

    Well that will certainly help to unite the CON party.

    Which CON-R MPs are going to vote with opposition just to see LAB deliver an Extreme Brexit and blame it on CON, then use the freedom from ECJ to renationalise everything within 5yrs and take the country back to the 1960-70s.

    Soubs perhaps? Absolutely no chance for “True Blues” like Clarke, Grieve, etc. You might get a few like Heidi Allen or Wollaston to join a new Centre-Return party or defect to LDEM but it would IMHO be 2-3 tops and that doesn’t even offset Hoey, Field, Campbell, Hopkins, Mann, Stringer let alone start on the likely abstainers from LAB (and LDEM’s Lloyd)

    Happy to discuss other possible names on the CON-R list that want a “no deal” Brexit with Corbyn as PM or 5mins of fame defecting to LDEM or joining a new party?

    Mind you, good news for LDEM % and SNP’s chances to take back the 6 seats they lost to LAB in 2017.

    Oh, Jeremy Corbyn
    Oh, Jeremy Corbyn
    Oh, Jeremy Corbyn

    (2min standing ovation)

    :-) :-) :-)

  6. Macron apparently threatening not to come to the vital Brexit summit if he doesn’t get his way about the Irish border. Baby and bathwater? The cabinet meeting should be very interesting this morning.

  7. This places the rather limited significance of Brexit into some context – https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/sep/24/americas-era-of-climate-mass-migration-is-here

    In the US, climate change enforced migration is already underway. 6m people in Florida alone are going to have to find new homes in the near future, and from coast to coast in the US, this is starting to happen.

    The US is big enough and rich enough to cope with this, and as a result the rest of the world won’t see much difference. It’s when the south east Asian delta mega cities like Dhaka, or Manila in the Phillipines start to sink that the really big global population shifts are going to start.

    And then there is London….one storm surge just a little bigger than the 2013 record breaker, and large parts of the financial capital go under.

    It’s funny how we all get obsessed by the small stuff, when the tidal wave looms over us.

  8. McDonnell has put a spanner in the works.

    Perhaps the lib dem conference bounce might come out of the Labour conference if it looks like the leadership turn any second referendum into an offer between leave and leave?

  9. The tories aren’t really doing much better with 21%. Don’t know is presumably the party best able to sort brexit?

    Also I’d be careful not to underestimate the potential for any brexit GE to once again get diverted onto non brexit matters. The general public do not share the politically interested’s brexity obsession.

    As for labour I’m not quite sure why so many are going on emotional roller-coasters (opposite ones depending on viewpoint) about the whole another vote thing, all they’re doing is remaining as non committed as they always have been.

  10. ‘YG tracker on best party for “Britain’s exit from EU”

    CON 21
    UKIP 14
    LAB 14’

    Sums it up really when no party is anywhere near 50%… It’s a disaster in the making — and the economy is already hit. Time for a new referendum. And yes, change the law so we don’t have to wait 10 weeks.

  11. ‘And then there is London….one storm surge just a little bigger than the 2013 record breaker, and large parts of the financial capital go under.’

    Not an issue – after Brexit the financial capital will be empty …

  12. Interesting to read the comments on here about the Labour Party conference.

    I find absolutely amazing that the posters who are well-known as anti-Labour on here should criticise the Conference and what is going on there.

    Who’d have thunk it!?

  13. David Colby

    I’m a sample of one, but when I read John McDonnnell’s comments on the People’s vote motion, I felt a visceral dislike of the Labour leadership that I haven’t felt before. It’s clear now that the empowerment of the membership only goes as far as it’s aligned with the ambitions and ideology of JC and McD. As you point out, a choice between leave and leave is no choice at all, especially for a party that whose grass roots are overwhelmingly wanting to remain. 48% are still completely unrepresented. I expect a row on Tuesday . I hope it’s a big one. And yes, personally, I won’t be voting labour again for a while.

  14. Alec
    “And then there is London….one storm surge just a little bigger than the 2013 record breaker, and large parts of the financial capital go under.”

    The downside would be that property prices would go up elsewhere because of all the refugees.

  15. @AndrewIII

    “It was the Euro elections by PR that gave UKIP oxygen (ironically). In Scotland and London the Greens are doing much better than in the rest of England or in General Elections, thanks to PR. With PR the SDP-Lib alliance might well have won a Euro election…

    PR is a prerequisite for success for a new party. It is the reason why Labour and the Tories will NEVER back PR when push comes to shove. (And why the Lib Dems were so foolish not to insist on it when they had their chance in 2010)”

    ———-

    Yes, one can see how PR in other elections can give a party a start. In the case of UKIP, you can argue that the rise in salience of immigration post-omnishambles is what assisted with the Euro success, and then subsequently their rise in VI here.

    I don’t know if PR is ALWAYS a prerequisite for success… I don’t know that the SDP needed it to get the vote that they did, but that was a special case in that they had quite a few existing MPs join them from Labour including some household names, so they weren’t really starting from scratch.

    However the lack of PR may well have led to less of the vote in future once folk realised that despite their share of the vote, not so many seats. Labour of course managed to break thorough to government it does indicate it’s quite a mountain to climb.

    P.S. regarding Leeds NW, was too busy to reply earlier, but yes good point that being in Pudsey previously, probably depressed the Horsforth vote. The Remainy vote may be a factor, but young folk are bothered by quite a few other things too, from tuition fees to house and rent prices and these might be stronger points for Corbyn.

    It seems as though Clegg might have been aware that a saving grace might have been action on housing, but as we now know he says in his book that building more social housing was dismissed by his Tory colleagues as “creating Labour voters”.

    I do find it interesting, the way as you point out getting councillors can lead to votes in a GE. So how come you were able to get councillors in Horsforth but not Kirkstall, is the obvious question…

  16. “48% are still completely unrepresented.”

    I assume McDonnell’s argument is likely to be that we were represented in the vote we lost. It is one that I remain to be persuaded is without merit.

  17. I actually saw the Labour posturing over not wanting remain on the ballot paper as a rather clever manouevre which will make it incredibly difficult for the Tories when the time comes, having already been humiliated over the need to climb down on a referendum to prevent the loss of power which an election would almost certainly bring, to be able to take this position themselves.

    Had they not adopted this position May would have been forced into it by the ERG headbangers, who now find themselves in the invidious position of finding the same cards they doubtless thought they had up their sleeves protruding from the cuffs of the sworn enemy.

    Since Labour’s line will remain that they want a general election, and only want a referendum as a consolation prize, it hardly makes any difference what the question ends up being, so after a lot of squirming from May while making the biggest U-turn so far, and the sheer horror on the faces of the ERG at finding themselves aligned with Corbyn and McDonnell.

    Starmer can then go on Today and say that even though they would prefer a general election and May’s proposed question flies in the face of the will of the British People in the referendum they’d rather just get it all over with so probably won’t make a big deal over it.

    Pretty astute, I’d say.

  18. Good afternoon all from a lovely sunny but a little on the cold side Edinburgh. Been a while since I’ve been in Auld Reekie and the views from our offices on Castle street looking right over to the castle are stunning and I mean god dam stunning.

    Ok moving on..

    I can’t realistically see a new party connecting with voters. It may seem popular when voters are asked about it but a lot of that popularity is just down to frustration with the current political climate.

    UKIP, even under a slick performer such as Farage found it very difficult to break into the FPTP Westminster system so I can’t see this being any different for other wannabe new parties.

    Bremainers may yearn for ol Vince and Queen Gina to lead them to Euro-topia by forming a new party but this will probably crumble and end up looking something like exotic spresums.

    I’m not quite sure where Labour stands on Brexit but one things for sure and that’s Bremainers aka re moaners will be left feeling naked and very vulnerable….quick Vince, cover your eyes before you get an exotic spresum.

    Poor ol Vince. :-(

  19. @ COLIN / B SMITH – McDonnell’s plan suggests Labour are inching towards Venezuela!!

    May looks to be digging her hooves in with Chuquers though. There is a huge Canada+ carrot dangling in from of her but maybe she’ll need a bit more stick?

  20. @TED

    I can see your point in terms of tactics, but we are getting so close to the leaving dates, and I’m getting a bit fed up of party political games that avoids making a position clear (principally because they no idea about what they want or what they could possibly get).

    The Conservatives are not doing this so much, as they are under the gun, and can’t prevaricate any longer. However flawed, at least Chequers is an attempt to present a plan.

    I think at some point the electorate will get fed up of an Opposition that basically points and says ‘I wouldn’t do that’, without a solid and credible plan themselves.

  21. NORBOLD
    You’re rightI suppose.

    Out of interest though, how would you vote in The People’s Vote? Leave or Leave?

  22. TED

    I wish I believed they were that clever!

  23. An interesting snippet of result of the CLP Priority ballot:

    Housing 297,032
    Schools systems 233,883
    Justice for Windrush 212,612
    Palestine 188,019
    Brexit 149,172
    NHS 121,487
    Welfare system 89,861
    Climate change and fracking 72,890
    Local government funding 68,473
    Social care 64,569
    In work poverty 33,119
    An economy for the many 28,406
    Tenant’s rights 19,488
    Government contracts 10,610
    Yemen 10,294
    Combustable cladding 8,472
    Local banks 5,281

    ——————————————————

    Is this a glimpse into the mindset of current Labour CLPs?

  24. (Reposted without embedded l-word)

    The ComRes tables are now available:

    http://www.comresglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Brexit-Express-Conservative-Constituency-Polling-September-2018.pdf

    It’s quite a long sampling period (f/w 20 Aug – 16 Sep) and a rather limited selection of Conservative constituencies were sampled:

    ComRes surveyed 4,110 British adults (343 Aberconwy, 339 Eddisbury, 343 Totnes, 300 Beaconsfield, 300 Maidenhead, 317 Bromley & Chislehurst, 318 South Cambridgeshire, 314 Broxtowe, 318 Huntingdon, 317 Rushcliffe, 301 Loughborough, 300 Bracknell, 300 Wimbledon

    If those constituencies sound like they have something in common, it relates to a later question (p 23) Your local MP was one of just 12 Conservative MPs who voted against the Government last month in a bid to force the UK to stay in the Customs Union. This would have made it impossible for the UK to negotiate trade deals of its own after Brexit … ([asked to] All respondents excluding those in Maidenhead)

    Presumably the idea was to threaten these miscreants with the wrath of their constituents if they failed to obey the will of the people (or at least those who own newspapers). I doesn’t seem to work though. Even when the above leading question was followed by Do you agree or disagree with […]I trust my MP to honour the results of the EU referendum and deliver a full Brexit
    50% to 44% actually agreed[1] and those who voted Con in 2017 were 59% to 38% in favour. Even more strangely 2016 Leavers were more trusting (52-48) than Remainers (48-45) – current Brexit supporters even more so (55-42)[2].

    Even asked simply if My MP was wrong to rebel against the Government in July most actually disagree (50-45) and while there is clearly and unsurprisingly a strong link to Tory and Brexit support in agreeing (and this reflects in the different figures by constituency) 36% of Tories and 23% of Leavers still disagreed and backed their MP. And asked if Local Conservative Associations should work to de-select MPs who are in favour of REMAINING in the EU but represent constituencies that voted to LEAVE[3], 61% disagreed to 34%, with the figures for Tories (69-29) even stronger and even 44% of Leavers feeling the same.

    In fact there’s actually surprisingly little variation across so many demographics in lots of these questions, that it tends to suggest that most of them are fairly worthless, with people just giving the ‘polite’ reply irrespective of politics, age or whatever. The ‘new party’ question is particularly poor with the wording:

    Please imagine for a moment that a new political party has been created with one single aim – to put pressure on the main political parties to conclude Brexit as quickly and as fully as possible. To what extent, if at all, might you consider voting for such a party?

    attracting people who think that the best way to ‘conclude Brexit’ is to stop doing it (43% of Remainers were in consider) and the 53% being mostly the 36% who only said they “would probably consider it”. Which is not exactly the most enthusiastic endorsement.

    [1] As usual with ComRes, the poll is stuffed with Anthony’s hated agree/disagree questions and ComRes’s notoriously dodgy question wording. These sort of questions tend to slant to agree, so the high disagree figures on some are probably not what Brexit Express hoped for.

    [2] How people would vote again was clearly a question but with the results not reported. However judging from the weighted figures, the combined vote in these constituencies in 2016 was 52% Remain. Six actually voted Leave, but by small margins (on Hanretty figures) of 52-54% Leave. However some of the Remain constituencies (especially Wimbledon which was only 29% Leave) were more strongly that way which meant the combined figure came out Remain. Those rebel MPs aren’t really risking a lot – none of them represent heavily Leave constituencies.
    The repeat referendum question seems to produce a figure of 56% Remain – the sort of swing we’re currently seeing in similar polls. I would imply that all these constituencies would now choose Remain – some not by much.

    [3] Apparently it’s the end of democracy as we know it when Labour tries similar, but perfectly OK for Conservatives.

  25. Surprising to see social care and climate change so low in the list, and Windrush and Palestine so high.

  26. This is why you should never copy your modded comment from UKPR to correct it. Now with all the italics in place:

    The ComRes tables are now available:

    http://www.comresglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Brexit-Express-Conservative-Constituency-Polling-September-2018.pdf

    It’s quite a long sampling period (f/w 20 Aug – 16 Sep) and a rather limited selection of Conservative constituencies were sampled:

    ComRes surveyed 4,110 British adults (343 Aberconwy, 339 Eddisbury, 343 Totnes, 300 Beaconsfield, 300 Maidenhead, 317 Bromley & Chislehurst, 318 South Cambridgeshire, 314 Broxtowe, 318 Huntingdon, 317 Rushcliffe, 301 Loughborough, 300 Bracknell, 300 Wimbledon

    If those constituencies sound like they should have something in common, it relates to a later question (p 23) Your local MP was one of just 12 Conservative MPs who voted against the Government last month in a bid to force the UK to stay in the Customs Union. This would have made it impossible for the UK to negotiate trade deals of its own after Brexit … ([asked to] All respondents excluding those in Maidenhead)

    Presumably the idea was to threaten these miscreants with the wrath of their constituents if they failed to obey the will of the people (or at least those who own newspapers). I doesn’t seem to work though. Even when the above leading question was followed by Do you agree or disagree with […]I trust my MP to honour the results of the EU referendum and deliver a full Brexit
    50% to 44% actually agreed[1] and those who voted Con in 2017 were 59% to 38% in favour. Even more strangely 2016 Leavers were more trusting (52-48) than Remainers (48-45) – current Brexit supporters even more so (55-42)[2].

    Even asked simply if My MP was wrong to rebel against the Government in July most actually disagree (50-45) and while there is clearly and unsuprisingly a strong link to Tory and Brexit support in agreeing (and this reflects in the different figures by constituency) 36% of Tories and 23% of Leavers still disagreed and backed their MP. And asked if Local Conservative Associations should work to de-select MPs who are in favour of REMAINING in the EU but represent constituencies that voted to LEAVE[3], 61% disagreed to 34%, with the figures for Tories (69-29) even stronger and even 44% of Leavers feeling the same.

    In fact there’s actually surprisingly little variation across so many demographics in lots of these questions, that it tends to suggest that most of them are fairly worthless, with people just giving the ‘polite’ reply irrespective of politics, age or whatever. The ‘new party’ question is particularly poor with the wording:

    Please imagine for a moment that a new political party has been created with one single aim – to put pressure on the main political parties to conclude Brexit as quickly and as fully as possible. To what extent, if at all, might you consider voting for such a party?

    attracting people who think that the best way to ‘conclude Brexit’ is to stop doing it (43% of Remainers were in consider) and the 53% being mostly the 36% who only said they “would probably consider it”. Which is not exactly the most enthusiastic endorsement.

    [1] As usual with ComRes, the poll is stuffed with Anthony’s hated agree/disagree questions and ComRes’s notoriously dodgy question wording. These sort of questions tend to slant to agree, so the high disagree figures on some are probably not what Brexit Express hoped for.

    [2] How people would vote again was clearly a question but with the results not reported. However judging from the weighted figures, the combined vote in these constituencies in 2016 was 52% Remain. Six actually voted Leave, but by small margins (on Hanretty figures) of 52-54% Leave. However some of the Remain constituencies (especially Wimbledon which was only 29% Leave) were more strongly that way which meant the combined figure came out Remain. Those rebel MPs aren’t really risking a lot – none of them represent heavily Leave constituencies.
    The repeat referendum question seems to produce a figure of 56% Remain – the sort of swing we’re currently seeing in similar polls. I would imply that all these constituencies would now choose Remain – some not by much.

    [3] Apparently it’s the end of democracy as we know it when Labour tries similar, but perfectly OK for Conservatives.

  27. Interesting poll uncovered in the IEA report. YG from Jul’18

    Most important for UK to have good trade deal with (pick up to 3 countries):
    US: 57
    China: 40
    Germany: 29
    France: 15
    Australia: 14
    Canada: 12
    India: 10
    Japan: 10
    Ireland: 7

    It does look a lot like CON are 51st-ers (72% have US as one of their 3 picks) – as I’ve said before I’m personally not in a rush to do a deal with Trump but elsewhere in poll 67% (net + 58) do support a US-UK FTA (CON net +81, LAB net +39). Better to join TPP-11 then try and get next US president to also join that IMHO!

    A lot of DK’s from LAB folks and they don’t seem to like the Aussies much ?!?

    https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/fqnuy0sidj/GB%20PublicFirstResults_180717_Trade.pdf

    NB. Some wording bias as they should really have put EU as one “country” given you can only do a deal with them as a block.

    and a section for DANNY if he’s around:
    Country with strongest cultural relationship to UK (pick up to 3):

    Australia: 42
    US: 40
    Canada: 34
    Ireland: 30

    then big gap
    France 8
    Germany 6
    India 5…

  28. @Laszlo

    from previous thread.

    I enjoyed reading your 12.21 am response to @Turk. I cannot always follow your posts but I think your views on the difference between Momentum and Militant Tendency were well worth a read.

    Unfortunately I missed the film, Young Marx. We have a fantastic cinema/theatre/exhibition complex here in Manchester, courtesy of funding from the EU of course, but the film was only on for a few days and I was away. I remember the film had an 18 certificate. Why was that?

  29. PETERW, so after you lose a vote you no longer have any rights to be represented? Wow, democracy is a real sh*tter at times.

    McDonnell proving time and again he is a jack arse. Incompetents to the left of me, incompetents to the right…need a new party and pretty damn quick.

  30. @CMJ

    Not sure what to read into that. Note it is the priority list for stuff to debate, so it may not be that they’re not interested in social care, LA funding etc and more that there’s not much disagreement about labour’s policies on those issues.

  31. @ JAMESB / JACK – In best party for Brexit then yes, DK is top at 27.

    I’m obviously biased but given how few people like Chuquers then IMHO to get a rough gauge on Canada+ (with May or new leader) you need to add CON+UKIP = 35. Amongst Leavers CON are 33 and UKIP 28!

    Still not great though I admit!

    Of relevance to LAB’s new ref after it’s too late offering Leave or Leave it is worth noting that LAB currently get 21% of Remain voters (above LDEM on 17%)

  32. not that many people watch/listen to conferences though..

    “Who cares about party conferences? Not the British public”

    poll with write-up and photo from LDEM conf:
    https://yougov.co.uk/news/2018/09/24/who-cares-about-party-conferences-not-british-publ/

  33. TREVOR WARNE

    Yes but you have deliberately used that photo which was taken during ol Vince’s Lib/Dem conference speech. Why not show a photo after ol Vince has given his speech?

  34. Andrew111

    She wont be leader by then so her opinion wont matter and Boris or Javid/Raab will buy the DUP off or if they cant be bought they will dump on them after winning the general election.

  35. Norbold

    “ I find it absolutely amazing that the posters who are well known as anti Labour on here should criticise the conference”.

    Repeat after me “ No criticism of the Leader will be tolerated “. “No criticism of the Leader will be tolerated “. To be repeated using the voice of the daleks for extra effect. Apparently it’s going to replace the singing of the red flag at the end of the conference.

  36. ANDREW MYERS

    The big difference is that in 1980 I don’t believe that the moderates were facing deselection, which I understand has been made more likely in the last few hours.

    Actually mandatory reselection had already been agreed by the Labour Party in 1980:

    https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/labour-mp-deselection-nec-plp-members-momentum-jeremy-corbyn-power-a8533981.html

    though, as that article points out, there actually weren’t that many of them. But what gets forgotten is that were boundary changes to be implemented in the 1983 election and so there would have been a lot of reselections for the new constituencies in any case.

    To some extent this explains why there weren’t many deselections, along with the defections to the SDP[1]. But the truth is that Constituency Parties (of all Parties) and indeed electors will put up with a certain amount of dissent from their MPs, even if they don’t agree. You can see that in the ComRes poll above. Indeed it may even be seen as a plus – an MP who is prepared to make a principled stand against their Party establishment may be more willing to do so

    But there isn’t complete tolerance. An MP who rebels too often on a whim or is seen as being ego-driven or self-interested could quickly lose support. And getting a lot of press coverage isn’t the same as public support – in fact it may discourage it (as I think has happened to Field).

    [1] This didn’t necessarily solve their problems as all three Islington MPs defected to the SDP and then had to fight over two seats.

  37. @ PETERW – Technically only 34.7% of voters voted Remain.

    65.3% of voters either voted Leave or didn’t care

    After the “only 37% voted Leave” nonsense then I hope Rejoiners will insist future referendums to be 50%+1 of all registered voters. Good luck getting say 63% to want to rejoin via A49 with an 80% turnout!

    Remainers have made such a fuss over losing that you shouldn’t be surprised that no “broad church” party will want to go anywhere near another referendum for another 40years!

  38. @catman

    “Surprising to see social care and climate change so low in the list, and Windrush and Palestine so high.”

    ——

    Yes, if one considers the press coverage each gets, would that go some way toward explaining it?

  39. TW

    Venezuela ?

    Surely Labour going in the direction of France,Germany,Norway,Sweden etc where strategic sectors are publically owned

    Or do you prefer ours to be owned by the aforementioned French ,Germans,Spanish,Yanks.

  40. @Trevor Warne – “There is a huge Canada+ carrot dangling in from of her [May] but maybe she’ll need a bit more stick?”

    To be technically correct, the size of this particular carrot isn’t ‘huge’ – it’s actually a substantial shrinkage of the carrot we’ve already got, which is why May is sensibly resisting the more daft members of her party and their supporters in various places on the internet who seem to believe signing worse trade terms can mean we get better trade terms.

  41. “Remainers have made such a fuss over losing…”

    Not have as much fuss that leavers made after they lost.
    They didn’t stop whingeing for 40 years….

  42. @Pete B – “The downside would be that property prices would go up elsewhere because of all the refugees.”

    Indeed. This is already happening, not so much in the UK, but in places like Florida there are already major market disruptions underway.

    Wealthier coastal dwellers are already buying up properties in more run down suburbs away from the coast and on the traditional more run down elevated areas, which are traditionally poorer, black neighbourhoods. This is causing financial and social tensions.

    There are also areas of New Orleans where those who can are leaving. This is reducing the tax base, putting further pressure on services, and creating a concentration of the very poorest who cannot escape, right in the places that are going to be worst affected.

    In Alaska, federal money is being spent to move a dozen towns inland. On Staten Island a huge sea wall is proposed. But the costs of moving everyone in the risk areas is going to be tens of trillions.

    This is a pattern that is going to repeat in multiple countries and of a global scale. It’s happening already, led by basic market pressures, but I don’t think any governments have really started to grasp what impact this will have.

  43. Norbold, Pete, Dalek, Trev and others.

    If I didn’t know this was useless, incompetent, dithering, Labour here, I’d say the response to the idea of a second vote on Brexit, was pretty masterly TRIANGULATION on the reds part.
    Sorry for shouting. The next few post-conference polls will be interesting.

  44. Valerie

    There is a full video of The Young Karl Marx on YouTube – for some reason the subtitles seem to be animated which causes a bit of a problem (unless you speak a very good German).

    I can’t imagine why they have 18.

    Th he film opens with the right to collect wood in private forests (which accidentally is an issue in today’s Hungary), then Marx meets Jenny von Westphalen. Then the first meeting of Marx and Engels, and Marx’s inability to handle drink. Engels’s meeting with Mary (while it is a bit ott, it doesn’t justify the age restriction), then their relationship to Proudhon and other anarchists, and then the victory of their wing in 1848 (the Communist Manifesto).

    SO, I don’t know why the age restriction.

    The Home (formerly Corner House) had it on for a couple of shows in the summer.

    It is actually a very well made film (the style is close to the 1900 by Bertolucci), and there are some talented actors and actresses in it (Jenny’s role is very pointed to today).

  45. RJW

    even a useless, incompetent, dithering clock can be right a couple of times a day, probably :-)

  46. Keir Starmer has contradicted McDonnell.

    Labour have learnt the lesson of the Leave Campaign, be all thing to all men. Every speaker has a slightly different message, pick the one that suits you.

  47. ALEC
    “Remainers have made such a fuss over losing…”
    ……….
    “Not have as much fuss that leavers made after they lost.
    They didn’t stop whingeing for 40 years….”
    _____________

    Oh great does this mean we’ve got 40 years of wailing to look forward to after we leave the EU?

  48. You don’t have to like Farage but he’s very much on the money with this speech.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Csi_FFkHQA

  49. We’re used to our Brexiteer colleagues regularly saying that there are lots of faster growing countries in the world and that without the EU we will be able to make trade deals with them.

    Leaving aside the arguments about size and distance are the EU not aware of these places and don’t they have them on their list for future deals. And wouldn’t a deal with the 27/28 country EU attract better terms than the UK on its own?

  50. Yougov from last week is out now. The 4 point lead for the conservatives is just one point in the raw data, something we have seen before. Wrong to leave leads right to leave by a 7 point margin, 47-40. This is the equal highest the gap has been although still not a huge margin – last five polls have now had leads for wrong to leave of 6,5,6,4 and 7 so there is a trend. Be interesting to see if last week’s events have had an impact at all when this week’s poll is released.

    Also, some data on the public’s views of Labour politicians. Remarkable how few people have a view on Labour people apart from Corbyn, even among Labour voters. Interestingly, Lib Dems seem more likely to have a view on Labour politicians than Labour voters do. 88% of all voters don’t know to what degree they have a favourable or unfavourable opinion of Barry Gardiner, i would have thought that some Conservative voters would tick very unfavourable just for being a Labour politician but only 5% did. Perhaps shows how poorly known many Labour politicians are other than Corbyn and Abbot (although i would have thought that Khan, Lammy and Burnham would be better known than a lot of the shadow front bench).

    https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/2130woxm8k/Times_180919_VI_Trackers_w.pdf

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