Party conference season is sometimes a period of volatile polling – each party typically gets its own week of media coverage which, if all goes well, they’ll use for some positive announcements. This year it also immediately followed the Salzburg summit and Theresa May’s Brexit statement that followed. Below are the voting intention polls since my last update.

YouGov (18-19th) – CON 40%, LAB 36%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 5% (tabs)
Opinium (18-20th Sep) – CON 37%, LAB 39%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 8% (tabs)
BMG (21st-22nd Sep) – CON 38%, LAB 38%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 4% (tabs)
ICM (21st-24th Sep) – CON 41%, LAB 40%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 4% (tabs)
YouGov (24-25th Sep) – CON 42%, LAB 36%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 4% (tabs)
ComRes (26-27th Sep) – CON 39%, LAB 40%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 5% (tabs)
Opinium (26-28th Sep) – CON 39%, LAB 36%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 6% (tabs)
BMG (28-29th Sep) – CON 35%, LAB 40%, LDEM 12%, UKIP 5%

They are a mixed bunch – the YouGov poll showing a six point Tory lead got some attention, and I’m sure the BMG poll out this morning showing a five point Labour lead will do much the same. As ever, it’s wrong to pay too much attention to outliers. Normal sample variation means that if the underlying average is a Tory lead of a point or two, random noise will occassionally spit out a 6 point Tory lead or a small Labour lead, without it actually signifying anything. Collectively recent polls don’t suggest a clear impact on voting intention from either the Salzburg statement (while YouGov showed a larger Tory lead, ICM did not), or from the Labour party conference (while BMG show an increased Labour lead, Opinium showed the opposite).

1,527 Responses to “Latest voting intentions”

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  1. TW (and others)

    The Civitas report at least acknowledges the heart of the issue, which is that the major obstacle to housebuilding is the price of land. I think that they’re too focussed on making it cheaper for the state to build, but if all they do is replace private development with public development then the overall crisis won’t be addressed. High land prices are just a product of scarcity, the real appeal of a proper compulsory purchase scheme would be to allow the state to take a much more proactive role in planning; with beefed up powers local authorities could devise masterplans sufficient to meet demand, purchase the land needed at existing use values (or a little above), and then sell it on to builders and developers with covenants and permission in place while pocketing the proceeds. It’s really what planning ought to focus on, rather than an adversarial process of micromanaging individual building projects. Done right it could lower the price of development land, increase revenues for the state, reduce risks and improve margins for developers and builders (making lending to them a more attractive prospect), and most importantly increase the rate of housebuilding.

    As an aside, far too much is made of the supposed need to build more affordable housing. We have some of the higher levels of social housing in the developed world, and thanks to our allocation policies we reserve more housing for the poorest in society than any other European country. The housing crisis is an issue of affordability for the middle classes caused primarily by a mismatch between supply and demand. Any proposals focusing on site specific price reductions are very much a case of prioritising the needs of the few who get to live in those subsidised houses, over the needs of the many who would benefit more from letting or selling the homes at a market rate and reinvesting that subsidy into further housebuilding.

  2. “US President Donald Trump said the Federal Reserve, which has been raising interest rises, had “gone crazy”.”


  3. “Survey results of Brexit attitudes across UK
    @sam October 11th, 2018 at 9:26 am

    I suspect that the government try as hard as they can to ensure that foreign aid funds don’t go astray and that they don’t go towards projects and philosophies etc of which the UK does not approve. That means that sometimes it goes to recipients who will look more kindly on the UK in future. Is that bribery, soft diplomacy or sensible use of resources?”
    @Steamdrivenandy October 11th, 2018 at 9:54 am

    Chart 7 of Sam’s link is interesting — price worth paying for Brexit: peace in NI. Leavers across the Union, and those who identify as English, overwhelmingly think it’s a price worth paying.

    So perhaps the £1bn given to NI for C&S should be included in the foreign aid budget?

  4. @carfrew – there you go! We’ve finally modulated into a shared phase at the correct frequency and without voltage variance.

    @Millie – I understand your point regarding planning. One of the ways around this is to effectively nationalise the business of gaining planning consent.

    Under one type of proposal (which may actually be what Civitas is talking about) councils compulsorily purchase land for development at current value + modest bonus and then secure planning permission. This land is then sold onto developers for a margin that raises the money for council infrastructure but still falls well below the current price for development land.

    The sale could be tied to conditions for completion dates (eg if you don’t build you hand the site back to the council) and this would speed up the overall build process while also keeping prices down.

    I’m sure there are pitfalls and dangers to be wary of, and I’m no expert in this field (although I do undertake a fair bit of large scale planning work, but not for housing).
    My overall approach to housing and land issues is that this can’t be left to the free market. Free markets work for things like ball point pens, where anyone could set up to manufacture them if they think the price is too high or the supply too restricted.

    We can’t do this with land – no one can manufacture any more of it. We’ve part nationalised the land development system through planning, which many rightly identify as effectively restricting the supply, but I think we just need to go the whole way and take complete control of the planning process, leaving the private sector to come in and build.

  5. I’m not sure if a whole bunch of wealthy individuals have all got the same message, but I notice that the number of £1m+ houses for sale in our local area has shot up recently.

    We’re in a relatively low cost housing area, but according to Rightmove there are 45 £1m+ houses for sale within 10 miles and only 8 (18%) are SSTC. Mind, 9 are within the HS2 corridor and none of them are SSTC.

    Compare that to the 2,034 houses for sale between £200k and £400k, where 631 (30%) are SSTC.

    Is it:

    Rodents deserting what they perceive as a sinking ship
    The threat of unexplained wealth orders
    The probability of higher interest rates
    The thought that property values may crash.

  6. @Alec

    The lack of divorces in indeed partly explained by financial cramp compelling couples to stay together when they don’t want to.
    But apparently the main explanation is that couples are now only getting married if they are confident of the relationship lasting. Less ‘frivolous’ marriages apparently!
    Others are happier with a looser ‘living together’ arrangement that they mutually acknowledge may not last for the rest of their lives.

  7. Alec

    I can see how the system you suggest would work for large, or even medium scale developments but I can’t see how it would work for extensions/single property type situations.

    Nearly 40 years ago we lived in the newly developing town of South Woodham Ferrers for a couple of years. I believe that Essex County Council owned all the land and sold off tranches to developers. I don’t know how the council first obtained ownership though.

  8. @ ALEC (SAM) – Lots of polls on Leave and CON VI views on NI, basically they don’t care about NI.

    If we take the most recent poll posted on YG site. Then they ask:

    Leaving EU might unravel peace process in NI, would you say (forced binary, so no DK):

    It was worth it 47
    Not worth it 53
    net -6

    But CON VI are net +45 worth it, Leave VI +66

    CON VI is currently highly correlated with Leave VI – that might not always be the case! Banks told UKIP to back CON but if May “betrays” them, then that could change fast and easily see a CON -5 UKIP +5 kind of change to the “polldrums” impasse (enough to make Corbyn PM)

    Most other polls that ask about NI show the same kind of thing. In part this may well be because most CON and Leave see NI as a “proxy” for the bigger trade issues and that the whole NI border issue is being exaggerated for political reasons (polls pick that up).

    IMHO it would be electoral su!cide to bend over backwards to please the DUP, and May needs to call their bluff (some personal bias in that for sure)

    Also the current “alliance” between Brextremist CON MPs and DUP might not be as safe as folks think.

    They will both block Chuquers2 but it would be less clear if the “alliance” holds if:
    a/ May-EC agree FTA+ with a few minor changes to the NI-GB customs arrangement (e.g. The “Le Touquet+” compromise that sits between current ERG plan and what Barnier is proposing).
    b/ May-EC agree a full UK wide CU backstop with no time limit.

    DUP might back b/ but not a/ and Brextremist CON might back a/ but not b/ – each being prepared to sell the other one out if they get what they want.

    Guessing where whip breaker or abstainer LAB MPs come in to a/ and b/ above is tricky – that will probably be the deciding factor as much as DUP.

  9. Alec,
    “Sorry, but that’s completely wrong. You can’t put anything onto the grid, at any level, unless it is strictly in synch with the grid. ”

    I remember hearing a story once about phasing of the grid. When it was first created they didnt quite know what would happen. But when they started connecting it all together, it just self compenstated.

    If you connect something which is lagging the grid, then the grid will drive it. If something is leading then it will drive the grid. There has to be a voltage difference for there to be a current flow. I am assuming that anything anyone tries to connect will be designed for the purpose and intended to work on AC at the right frequency, and will have been designed with these difficulties in mind. DC systems like photocells must have electronics designed to sync to a grid and allowing for some variation in frequency.

    ” specific assessments are required for every generation station to ensure that their output can be accepted onto that part of the grid without pushing the voltage outside the maximum allowance.”

    Well yes, but in your example you are saying a system designed to supply just a few houses at a long distance from the main source doesnt work very well if you start feeding in more power than it was designed to supply to those houses. I’m not surprised. But the chat above sounded more like an urban context where there are lots of houses requiring an overall fairly high supply, and therefore capable of working in reverse similarly. Overall the grid has only been engineered for an average load to each house (dont know what that is) and it would be surprising if it would currently work at more than that in reverse.

    Where I live there has been controversy of late over connecting sewers and the cost of this. Its in the countryside, nowhere really remote, in the ‘overcrowded’ south east. Of course infrastructure doesnt reach to isolated areas and you cant really expect it to untill a need arises and then special arrangements made.

  10. @TW

    Our posts crossed.

    Yes, it is indeed a more complex problem than is often suggested. I don’t think the Civitas report helps us much. I really don’t think central government has any idea at all. The idea that TM and Gavin Barwell know what to do is laughable.


    I have felt for a long time that we have too much social housing, but it is something that it has been difficult to say publicly without someone misinterpreting one’s stance as ‘not helping the young and the poor’.

    In particular the ‘affordable housing’ industry is chronically self-serving. They claim to build to a higher standard, but their costs are way higher than private sector developers.

    I would make it much easier and cheaper to apply for planning permission. And I would let local planning officers and local communities make the decisions.

    There are two very big myths in the housing debate: that developers are land-banking, and that nimbys will control local planning decisions if they are left to locals.

    Finally, do not let remote planning departments decide where housing is allocated in a Local Plan. They will always go for large sites and the big developers. Start the public part of the Local Plan process before sites are selected, rather than consult after the decision is already taken.

  11. trevor Warne,
    “I also agree the housing crisis might not be as bad as thought”

    So how bad did you think it was? I think it is a national disaster, which has crippled the economy. What do you reckon?

    “IMHO one of the key priorities is to ensure public sector workers such as nurses, teachers are able to find affordable housing in the area in which they work”

    So nurses salary £23,000 and assume that must support a family. Maybe an affordable price for a 3/4 bed house £100,000? Bit less?

    “It is widely recognised that the grant of planning permission can bring a huge windfall to the landowner. Rightly, people look at this massive increase in value and expect it to be taxed.

    But it is. The landowner will have to make substantial contributions to things like education and infrastructure,”

    Surely from your example, it isnt. The phrase ‘huge windfall’ surely means…after all expenses have been paid? Otherwise it wouldnt be a windfall at all.

    “an application for a single plot might well require an investment of £20,000. The chance of success might be 50/50”

    And now you are telling me the problem is that the planning system does not clearly allocate land where consent will be granted. I’m not disagreeing, the system does everything it can to prevent permissions being granted, including what you describe as a very difficult process even for outline permission, and this is precisely the problem. Planners have gamed the system to make it a chess game designed to stop new houses being built. Its not fit for purpose.

  12. ALEC

    It may not be the DUP alone that opposes any deal. The SNP wants membership of the Single Market and Customs Union – an end to Brexit.

    Labour will adopt a similar position by applying the “six tests” which are based on Conservative claims of how Brexit will turn out. because Labour wishes to have a GE

  13. Trevor Warne,
    ” but IMHO would only encourage working age Japanese to save more ”

    Perhaps the problem/solution is something I have argued in the past when faced with financial advisors saying people need to save for a pension. No, they do not. In fact they cannot.

    At a given time in the future the national income will be whatever it is. Savings frequently have little influence on this. They may even make the future national income worse than had that money instead been spent into the economy encouraging growth.

    If an individual saves more, they might increase the share of the national income which comes to them, but only at someone elses expense. Future pensions have to be paid from future national income. This is very probaby best done by government management with a national pension paid through taxation at that future date.

    “excessive saving being the root of their problems”

    It really sounds to me like inadequate taxation to pay for state services which have been demanded is the problem. As in the UK.

  14. Trevor Warne,
    “May totally messed up the “PR” of her “boomer taxes”. ”

    I still think it was done in an attempt to lose the election. True, there needs to be a funding solution, but this was a cover for discouraging pensioners from voting tory, obviously without saying anything of the sort.

    Or maybe I should rephrase that. May sought to bring some honesty into the national debate, to correct tory policies skewed towards one interest group which were starting to become an electoral liability. And doing so when you wouldnt mind losing this election looked an excellent idea.

    Brexit is a nightmare policy, which threatens to lose tories millions of votes either if they fail to deliver…or if they do.

    Care of the elderly has been promised to motivate this traditional group of tory supporters, but we are all agreeing it is unsustainable -especially for a party which claims to be low tax.

    A nation of house oners – is a policy starting to be a sick joke amongst middle class rent slaves.

  15. David Davis tells it like he was once UK’s chief negotiator.

    ““It just evaporates right there and then. Why should they let us out? We know a number of European Union countries want to punish us for this, want to us not to do well.

    “This is a perfect way of doing it. They get all they want and we get none of what we want.

    “So, it is a very bad negotiating position.”

    Davis also said that he would not be prepared to support the country paying a divorce bill “for nothing”.

    “£39 billion of taxpayers money goes along with this deal. We’re going to do that for nothing? I don’t think so.””

  16. Trevor Warne,
    ” a future US president (possibly even a 2nd term Trump!) could decide to default on its own debt, fix the domestic consequences and “hey presto” – China, Japan, etc totally screwed but plurality of US voters wouldn’t mind that. I think we’re a long way from that”

    i dont. I think we are moving into a new phase wher the US has to change policy. (current one being issue more debt to foreigners)

    “May has made a personal promise to “fix the housing crisis” and the UK electorate will judge her on her success or failure – as they rightly should.”

    I think that highly unlikely. If there is an election during brexit, it will be about brexit. if after brexit, she will no longer be PM. Tories have no intention of implementing anything she says.

  17. @ CARFREW – Japan

    Deflation hasn’t slipped off the radar with them – not with debt/GDP at 240% and growing!

    I said the 4.5% budget deficit was buying paltry growth but in many ways Abe was trying to “buy inflation” (he hopes to achieve both and IMHO it won’t work for the same reason it hasn’t worked since 1989)

    Its not wages.

    Real wages in Japan are growing at their fastest rate in more than 21yrs! That is off a very low base of course but the problem in Japan is not CURRENT “cost of living” or “disposable income” related. As I’m sure you are aware they also operate a de facto policy of full employment. (see link at end)

    The problem is they just save the extra wages. By manipulating the savings rate (long-term bond yield) to a deeply -ve real rate then they fear for their FUTURE cost of living and disposable income.

    Keynes works in reverse in Japan!

    (part of) UK’s problem is bringing too much future spending forward – Japan’s is bringing too little future spending forward.

    This “spending” issue maps almost exactly onto trade deficits/surplus. UK+US folks buy too much and run a trade deficit. Japan, China, Germany buy too little and run a trade surplus. It’s almost a cultural issue and fiat money x open economies has let it get totally out of control.

    The key difference between UK and US is that the surplus nations buy US Treasuries (govt debt) where as in UK they buy the “family silver” (utilities, rail franchises, etc). We’re out of silver to sell and unlike the $ the £ is not the global reserve currency. This is why I bang on about needing to fix the current account BEFORE we fix the capital account.

    However in the extreme, Trump2 defaulting on foreign held US debt would be very similar to what Corbyn+McDonnell want to do with taking back the “family silver”. I bet few Corbynistas would see it like that though!

  18. ALEC

    “We’ve part nationalised the land development system through planning, which many rightly identify as effectively restricting the supply, but I think we just need to go the whole way and take complete control of the planning process, leaving the private sector to come in and build.”


    I can certainly agree that the planning process represents an enormous state intervention which blocks the free market provision of land suitable for building. You need a state intervention to counterbalance it and ensure that enough land comes to market, which a mechanism of the kind discussed could do fairly straightforwardly. Full nationalisation of the entire building design process is a wildly excessive solution to the problem, and not the answer at all.

    Planning, anyway, is far too micromanagerial. Not just in design terms, but in the mad notion that a local bureaucrat should dictate the use of individual properties on a case by case basis rather than leaving it to the market to decide. Planning should be more about the big picture and deciding what scale and density of building is appropriate to an area, including bringing land forward to make that happen, rather than the little details.

  19. “There are two very big myths in the housing debate: ….. and that nimbys will control local planning decisions if they are left to locals.”


    Don’t underestimate nimbyism. On a local FB group I am in, every time there is a new anything proposed, the nimbys are out in force opposing, organising resistance etc.

    ….and it’s not just one or two of them. If it were up to them, there would be no new housing, new cafes, new anything.

  20. @Colin – ““US President Donald Trump said the Federal Reserve, which has been raising interest rises, had “gone crazy”.”


    That’s Trump all over. Pump the economy and rack up deficit spending, then when the central bank rectifies the imbalances by adjusting interest rates, blame them.

    Trump’s economics won’t last, and it will be interesting to see how his tax cuts compare to Reagan’s big tax cuts, which led within a year to Reagan’s big tax increases after the deficit spiked.

    The Wall Street sell off is also going to be worth keeping an eye on as well. Trump has made repeated boasts about the Dow and how this shows how good Trump is, so who is going to call crazy when the market slumps just before the mid terms.

    However nothing that man says surprises me any more, especially his habit of ensuring he never takes the blame for anything.

  21. @Garj – ” ….but in the mad notion that a local bureaucrat should dictate the use of individual properties on a case by case basis rather than leaving it to the market to decide. Planning should be more about the big picture and deciding what scale and density of building is appropriate to an area, including bringing land forward to make that happen, rather than the little details.”

    Ooooh – not at all sure about that!

    As one planning officer told me recently, ‘everyone hates the planning officer until someone wants to build a night club next door’.

    There are so many things that affect people’s quality of life and planning is essential to ensure we strike a reasonable balance. While the formal planning system is far from perfect at this task, markets are completely hopeless at it.

  22. If the latest YouGov poll has got the Tory lead down to 4%, then I fully expect all the other polls to be now showing growing Labour leads.

    Just in the interests of consistency!


  23. And poor old Andrew Neil (yes, he’s still amongst us) will have to now say “The Tories are 4% ahead in the polls” tonight on his late night show. That’s a shame because he used to love the 6% figure. It sort of rolled off his salivating tongue. He may not mention it at all now.

    Poor old Andrew. He always looks so hang dog when things aren’t going well.


  24. @Alec, Garj

    I was once consulted on a development, and I said to the applicant/developer that I didn’t like the design, and I didn’t think others would. He replied ‘I agree, I don’t like it either, but its what the planners want, so we’re building it.’

  25. As for planners, I generally think they are doing a good job. Its really hard to get it right – probably a bit more common sense would help, and a little less slavish adherence to slightly weird ideas about sustainability.

    The problem is more with central government, who think they can micromanage the planning system from Whitehall.

    As my local Chief Executive once said to me: ‘If you think we are being a bureaucratic burden to you, I can assure it is nothing compared to what we have to put up with from central government’.

    Gavin Barwell was going to submerge local authorities with pointless paperwork until he lost his seat.

  26. ALEC

    “As one planning officer told me recently, ‘everyone hates the planning officer until someone wants to build a night club next door’”


    Very true, and you can’t entirely do away with the concept of use classes as people do need to be protected against noisy and disruptive neighbours. That’s a far cry indeed though from the level of all-pervasive control exercised by the planning system. If a property owner thinks that their building would be better used as a home than an office, or as a restaurant rather than a dentist, then they should be free to do so providing that the new usage isn’t going to create a nuisance for their immediate neighbours. The best way to support and encourage certain uses is surely on the macro level, primarily through the tax system, rather than requiring case by case permission.

  27. The link below can take you to a recent speech by Sir Ivan Rogers. The speech is fairly lengthy and full of pithy remarks and quotations.

    Leavers are not spared. Sir Ivan’s words ought to strip Brexiteers of their fantasies – but probably will not. Assuming the EU and UK can agree a WA, Sir Ivan offers gloomy predictions of the trade deal negotiations that will follow.

    Further back in this thread HAL predicted that parliament would reject Mrs May’s deal. I think he is right and do not know whether I should be glad to be wrong

  28. I see Corbyn has ruled out any “pact or coalition” (including C&S) with any other party after a GE, in any attempt by Labour to form a government for the UK.

    As Sir Humphrey might have noted, that is a “brave decision”.

    Effectively, it means that his only hope of becoming PM is to get more Labour MPs from E&W [1] and Scotland [2] than Con on its own, or any combination of Con plus any party willing to give them a C&S deal.

    Minority government can work (though it requires a far greater willingness to work with opposition parties than Corbyn has ever demonstrated), but it appears that he wishes to minimise the chances of there ever being a Corbyn administration.

    [1] The polls are not hopeful on that

    [2] The polls are even less hopeful on that.

  29. @Millie

    In my experience, planning officers range from very good to completely useless. It’s the luck of the draw which you get.

    Having served on Planning Committees for most of my 10-odd years as a Local Councillor, I saw both extremes and when it came to my own planning application for an extension, I put a good deal of effort into the design with my architect to ensure that it respected the architecture of the neighbourhood. The officer didn’t turn up for the site visit until just a few days before it had to be decided on and promptly rejected the application (in my day as a Councillor all Officer recommendations for rejection had to go to Committee, but the Council later ditched that requirement).

    Anyway, my architect contacted an ex-planner he knew (who turned out to have written the Council’s guidance on home extensions and he was scathing about her, to the extent that he said I could quote him by name to the inspector). I appealed and got the planning application through unchanged. If I had actually incurred out-of-pocket costs I could probably got those awarded as well as the Planning Inspector was also quite strong in his comments about the original decision.

  30. ALEC

    @”That’s Trump all over. Pump the economy and rack up deficit spending, then when the central bank rectifies the imbalances by adjusting interest rates, blame them.”

    This really amused me.

    Of course you’re right.
    Erdogan went a step further . When his Central Bank raised interest rates he assumed total power of appointment for the Central Bank Governor -then named his son in law to to oversee economic policy.

    These people have lived with cheap credit for so long they think it should last forever so they can rack up debt without repurcussion.& borrow their way to permanent populist political power.

    I was amused at your comment because it will happen here if McDonnell gets into No 11. He will take political control of interest rates & change the BoE Mandate to include all sorts of objectives which meet his requirements.

    The markets will be just as spooked then as they are now. I guess for McDonnell that will be a plus-reducing the price of the companies he wants to nationalise. It might help him with this extraordinary plan too :-

  31. So OBR (Osborne’s Band of Remainers) input on “no deal”:

    “drew a parallel with early 1974 when energy shortages and striking miners forced the government to introduce a three-day working week, causing a 3 percent slump in economic output in the space of a single quarter” Not dramatic at all then!
    “benefits of additional bilateral trade deals (non-EU) are likely to be relatively modest” and so they basically give them a 0
    “Britain’s access to this (EU single market) will be curtailed after Brexit” curtailed a fairly strong word but note the usual Remainer hypocrisy over trade – EU trade is amazing, rWorld is cr4p (why not just let the EC write this and be done with the sham)
    “estimates for the hit to Britain’s economy so far from the 2016 Brexit vote showed economic output be around 2 to 2.5 percent lower than it would otherwise have been” ?!?! Carney managed to get a 1% up to a 1.5% maybe 2% but has anyone seen someone come up with a 2.5%.

    So another coordinated move started by Morgan. Hammond up next I’m sure. Carney likely to add his 2c as well.

    OBR was a great idea but if they are just going to be an echo chamber for the “heart of Remain” (HMT) then what is the point!

  32. Government secretly planning for 65 mile tail backs after Brexit? –

    we shall fight on the beaches,
    we shall fight on the landing grounds,
    we shall fight in the fields and in the streets,
    we shall fight on the M26 lorry park;

    we shall never surrender!

  33. @OldNat

    The only Party I can see being prepared to give the Tories a C&S deal are the DUP and even they may have second thoughts now.

    If we had another GE with no overall majority for any Party, I could foresee a ‘zombie government’; the FTPA makes GEs harder to call unless both the major Parties want it, and two GEs in quick succession will not go down well with the public (remember Brenda from Bristol).

    I think that Sir Humphrey might even have described Corbyn’s announcement as ‘courageous’. One wonders whether, if the PLP saw the possibility of power, Corbyn might be defenestrated and a deal done for a second independence referendum with the Nats in return for C&S on an agreed programme. I suspect that McDonnell would be rather more pragmatic on this.

  34. Danny @ Trevor Warne

    “Does [Scotland] get more per head than other places? yes.”

    Well, only true in some contexts. The ONS is trying to find a way towards a more rational comparison of public expenditure and income for the NUTS 1 regions of the UK, but it is very much more complicated than partisans like to portray.

    In the UK’s very distorted economy, for example, commuting makes a significant difference “Many regions have little commuting between them, so these commuting flows are not that important, but for London in particular, this effect is significant”, so the current data analysis shows E and SE of England helping London to “subsidise” every other part of the UK. In reality, it is more likely that the taxes generated in London are used to finance everywhere else.

    As they stand, the figures for the 4 polities (including England as a whole) getting much the same levels of public expenditure compared to providing public revenue as would be appropriate for both geographic and population share,

  35. @LeftieLiberal

    Your comment does not surprise me.

    I surpassed myself a couple of years ago. A friend had their planning application coming up at Committee and it was recommended for refusal by the officers. I said ‘Don’t worry, the members will overturn that’ and they duly did. But to the surprise of both of us I then went right ‘through the card’, correctly predicting something like six overturns out of an agenda of a dozen or so. It wasn’t being clever, just applying common sense.

    I wish more applications went to members as they used to, as the combination of enough excellent officers and some reasonably sensible and knowledgeable members is about as good as you are going to get.

    Ten years on Planning. Respect.

  36. Leftie Liberal

    By “zombie government” do you mean what most people describe as a “minority government”?

    My point wasn’t just that Lab would have to get more seats than a “Con+” pact, but also more than Con just to get a stab at minority government.

    No “largest party” minority government needs the support of other parties to survive (abstentions on a confidence motion are good enough).

    Getting legislation through, is entirely another matter but government continues even if there is no new legislation on anything.

    EVEL adds another complication, of course. a majority of English MPs is required to pass English only legislation, so even if a putative Corbyn government could scrape into minority government via Welsh MPs, it couldn’t legislate for England.

  37. “LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s electoral regulator has made two referrals to police to look at potential criminal offences committed by pro-Brexit campaigns during the 2016 European Union referendum, London police (MPS) said on Thursday.”

    “THE ELECTORAL Commission has been urged to launch a fresh probe into spending by the shadowy pro-union group that donated nearly half-a-million pounds to the DUP during the EU referendum campaign.

    The call from Jolyon Maugham QC of campaign group the Good Law Project comes in the wake of a High Court ruling that found the election watchdog misinterpreted EU referendum spending laws, which allowed Vote Leave to break them.”


    UTV’s Ken Reid has been told by no less a source than the Prime Minister herself that next week’s summit might not sign off on an exit plan for the UK – the conclusion to the so-called Article 50 talks. The plan had been to shake on that part of the agreement in Brussels next week and on the declaration on the future relationship a few weeks later in mid November.

    Mrs May herself now seems to be suggesting that the first part of the deal will not be shaken on next week. The presumption must be it is not cooked though. One DUP source wondered if it was just a way of making sure any agreement is done after the votes on the Budget, given that the DUP and maybe some Tory MPs with them are signalling they might vote against Budget measures. The Budget is planned for 29th October.

  39. @Sam

    The full text of Ivan Rogers’ speech can be accessed via this tweet. It is well worth reading:

  40. Sam

    The referrals from the Electoral Commission were made 5 months ago. That there were “political implications” shouldn’t have prevented the Met Police from starting an investigation – unless they are effectively under political control by the UK Government.

  41. Brexit not going well. Tweet from Michael Russell

    Angry discussion of migration at today’s JMC in Whitehall. Tories absolutely determined to impose draconian migration cuts and repressive rules despite clear evidence of the huge economic & social damage it will do & the fact that “hostile environment” policy is plain wrong

  42. Brexit not going well. Tweet from Michael Russell

    Angry discussion of migration at today’s JMC in Whitehall. Tories absolutely determined to impose draconian migration cuts and repressive rules despite clear evidence of the huge economic & social damage it will do & the fact that “hostile environment” policy is plain wrong

  43. Apologies for double post.

    My first! Seems to have been because UKPR wasn’t responding when I first pressed Submit, so pressed it again. Must be more patient.

  44. Sam @6:35

    I had a long train journey today and time to read this in full. It is an excellent exposition of how and why Brexit has occurred and pulls no punches on either side of the debate, as well as the futility of the current options being advocated at present by some quarters.

    There is much to reflect on, but what saddens me most is the apparent level of ignorance about the workings of the EU and its very raison d’etre in the minds of our continental friends amongst the current political “elite”.

    I guess that is why the interventions of the likes of Major and Blair make them appear so statesmanlike.

  45. @Trevor W

    Yes, chucking extra money into an economy, whether via borrowing, money-printing etc. – isn’t considered to be a panacea under Keynsianism or MMT.

    It’s something that can be useful in some situations, and can be ineffective or even harmful in other situations.

    A classic example is how they couldn’t chuck money in as a stimulus during the recessions of the Seventies, because those recessions were ALSO accompanied by high inflation due to the oil crisis.

    Chucking more money in would have made the inflation even worse. (Unless you stick to counterinfoationary investments)

    Regarding wage inflation, yes I wasn’t claiming it was the problem myself, just that others had claimed so, and on reflection thought it ought to be a component of the analysis. Again, it was interesting to read your thoughts on it.

  46. @ SAM – “Sir Ivan offers gloomy predictions”

    Wow, what a shocker! It’s like déjà vu all over again. All the usual suspects with all the same old sh1t with a bit of x3 for added drama. I’m sure they’ll be some wet bed sheets in Remainer homes tonight!

    @ ALEC – obviously 20mile tail backs doesn’t have the kind of repeat headline appeal so hey presto 65miles (coincidently just over 100km for the metric folks!)

    The m0r0nic thing these numpties ignore even if Brarmaggdon did happen is why the hell would anyone send a lorry of perishable produce into that kind of “known” situation when we’d be starving to death at home?

    Rotten-dam perhaps but nothing rotting on the M20 or M26! Since we net import pretty much everything then supply chains will adjust – the more notice the better of course.

    One small exception: HMG will have to buy up some lamb in 2019 so hopefully Hammond can stretch to a few freezers or subsidise the price so it isn’t so ridiculous expensive in the shops (yes the WTO would allow that!)

    For non-perishables, car companies already switching the planned Summer shut downs to Spring, etc. and Mercedes are apparently not going to co-op with Nissan in Sunderland if we leave with “no deal” (or is that actually totally the other way round!)

    The interesting one to watch is whether the Dutch try to steal a bit of biz from the French. Customs “competency” is national not EU based (the “rules” are EU but the on the ground stuff is national).

    Netherlands is the only country on the EU side of the channel anywhere near able to cope with an aburpt “no deal” and if Macron tries to prove a point then I’m sure they’ll appreciate the chance to steer a bit of extra business their way!

    I should stop saying “Le Touquet+” as a catch-all solution to the customs issue. It should be “Rotterdam+” and hopefully “Dublin+” – first come, first served! With EP elections coming up then Macron can explain to the voters in Hauts de France (already popular with FN)

    As for fighting? Why fight? We’re going to be the 51st state and get the ol’ Empire back up and running don’t forget. Let the EU rot (figuratively and literally!), pull the troops, pull the divorce bill f- ’em.

    Nuffin we don’t get from the EU we can’t make at ‘ome or get from Uncle Donald or Empire2.0 :-) :-)

    As our brothers in arms the DUP would say:

    No surrender
    No surrender
    No surrender to the ECJ
    No surrender to the ECJ

    I know I shouldn’t jest but seriously the political pantomime has gone from absurd to pathet!c.

  47. @ OLDNAT – and Corybn solo ignores the LAB Blairite faction. Oh I forgot they’re all going to face deselection.

    I tend to agree that facing the imminent possibility that he may actually have to do something rather than just talk about doing something he is getting his excuses lined up!

    Fair play – I’m sure in his heart he knows his snake oil is nothing but expensive rubbish.

    McDonnell however…. IMHO he is a true believer in the snake oil he is selling :<

  48. Colin,
    “I was amused at your comment because it will happen here if McDonnell gets into No 11.”

    Like, it isnt happening now under tories?

    Trevor Warne,
    “All the usual suspects with all the same old sh1t ”

    Funny how eternal truths stay true…
    It doesnt matter how freneticaly you post here, it isnt going to change the reality of how brexit turns out.

    Trevor Warne,
    “why the hell would anyone send a lorry of perishable produce into that kind of “known” situation when we’d be starving to death at home”

    Maybe if we cannot get a fresh tomatoe for love nor money, people will try to run the jams because of the big prices, to sell us week old fruit?

    If even half of this comes to pass trevor, the tories will be getting the tomatoes thrown at them any time they show their faces in their own brexit voting constituencies. That voters wanted it will not save their seats. Voters I imagine will say that the tories should have told the truth that it could not work as promised.

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