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. TO

    That would be Mrs May talking to herself

  2. AllanC:

    I ought to have kept Scotland and N. Ireland separate in talking of trouble, but for Scotland there is plenty of evidence of people being resistant to immigration policies decided by the present farRight government.

    It`s both for preventing what seem to be unfair removals of people long present or seriously endangered in the country to which they are to be deported, and also for employing people “illegally” doing needed jobs in catering or agriculture.

  3. @DANNY

    My recollection is polling on the windrush affair showed it did no harm to the tories. Tories liked the idea of cracking down on west indian retirees. I think my dad (deceased now) would have been with them. Nothing personal, just they dont belong here. Not what we fought for, and all that.

    Its OK to be out and proud as a tory who supports leave. Less so if its supporting settled immigrants leave, but that has been woven into Brexit mythology.

    I understand that people liked the hostile immigration policy the Tories said it was a mistake to include windruish generation so all is forgiven by those not involved. As I remember my point by COLIN I am not expecting policy to be question since I think many people are clearly focused on the support my party right or wrong at this juncture.

    Well no, but her task has never been to move the tory party anywhere, but to be its spokesman. They want to remain, and that is why they chose a remainer as leader.

    That is revisionist history. They chose the only person that seemed sane in the room. If you remember Boris was being stabbed in the back by Gove. Leadsom was telling the world she as a mother was the only one that could unite the UK it was a f’#kwit’s convention. I WOULD have voted May since she was the only one in the room that did not open her mouth so you were taking a chance that she was a bad as the others but the others opened their mouth to confirm they were not suitable and Tory Member wanted someone who they thought could win. I would bet on Javid being their next leader because they believe that would get them the win. It sometimes remind me of my young day playing football. You often got the chant that ‘our is better than yours ‘. Sometimes I get that feeling. I kind of virtue signaling on with less of the virtue of the left. Although I did like Javids 50B for homes idea

    If Boris was not such an ar5e he would be PM by now he headed a campaign that won, but in the end they membership understand that if they want power they have to have someone that makes the right sounds and yet does the ‘right’ thing

    The members voted 80% to leave according to polls. the MPs want to keep their seats so I think they are flexible, Barnwell who lost his seat in Croydon South said it best that when he was doorsteping he heard nothing about Brexit but lots about austerity so for some Brexit was less important so they will sell whatever story they believe will win the audience hence Hunt who has been sell himself hard talking about the EU being the USSR (I note Latvia response to his claim) In all the Hunt has pointed out the UK blames the EU for not giving them a deal and yet we are being disrespected. We have a constant anti german effect We have told them what they are going to do (they want to sell us car so badly they’ll do what we want. and yet we feel disrespected when they say no. I am sure that is Sn0wflake territory. Personally I think we are in no deal territory now I am not sure how much can be rolled back without someone looking weak. raising the Dunkirk spirit and EUSSR memes can be seen as for UK consumption but vast swathes of the EU speak English and therefore I am not sure that people aren’t just saying to the UK to go forth and multiply but less eloquently.

  4. @JAMESB

    We rejected a poor man version of AV because LDEM having had athe opportunity to put this forward didn’t. I am not sure we will have another opportunity. As I constantly say the electorate is always two years too late

    Each side knows what the route to power is and a pretty much gaming the system to stay on that course

    For them the advantage of an all or nothing approach is that at some point someone miss steps and you get a chance and you don’t get blamed for other sides screw ups because you are wholly left out of power. PR make it more complex

  5. @JAMESB

    We rejected a poor man version of AV because LDEM having had athe opportunity to put this forward didn’t. I am not sure we will have another opportunity. As I constantly say the electorate is always two years too late

    Each side knows what the route to power is and a pretty much gaming the system to stay on that course

    For them the advantage of an all or nothing approach is that at some point someone miss steps and you get a chance and you don’t get blamed for other sides screw ups because you are wholly left out of power. PR make it more complex

  6. “Beaufort’s deep … has a million tonnes of explosive and some Nuclear waste at the bottom of it.”
    October 1st, 2018 at 11:03 am

    Looks like there’s a little less explosive there now:
    Beaufort’s Dyke in the North Channel, and surrounding waters were used as a munitions disposal site during the 20th Century, with significant quantities after the two world wars and the last dumping in 1976. The British Geological Survey (BGS) over the years has detected explosions in this area on their seismograph network.

  7. ToH,

    We not that far apart in our assessment.

    I think McDonnell and Corbyn were ambivalent about the EU and view domestic policy as being the main driver for their preferences to be realised. Once we voted leave they accepted and want to move on but are constrained by the vast majority of LP members, including the recent joiners backing their platform, being pro-EU.
    The soft Brexit position allows a, sometimes, uneasy peace to prevail which could break down in the event of a second ref becoming a real possibility.

    I agree with you that a second ref is unlikely as insufficient Tory MPS will back , as I think do Starmer, Corbyn et al, which allows them to all support the ‘keep all options on the table’ formula.

    NB) In the highly unlikely calling of a GE in the next few months imo Labours’ manifesto would not back a second ref but say they would negotiate a better deal putting jobs and economy first etc etc. The tricky bit would be whether to put seek an A50 extension in the manifesto as a rebuff from the EU, as all 27 have to agree could be problematic.

  8. If FPTP really gives Labour a kicking for the next 15 years or so (as it might easily do) and they find themselves hopelessly far from being able to form a majority for the indefinite future, then I can definitely see them joining with the Lib Dems et al and bringing in PR.

    But they would need to lose all hope. In their time in the wilderness, the Tories developed no appetite for PR, because they felt that a majority was always about two elections away. Labour developed some interest in the 1990s, but 1997 devastated the case for it (from a Labour perspective) and it was somewhat impressive that Labour resisted the opportunity to introduce FPTP in Scotland* and Wales.

    * As it turned out, this was to their long-term advantage!

  9. On the Irish border, I’ve two questions:

    Where do foreigners show their passports (if we are to stop freedom of movement)?

    How does HMG stop fraud? (Either preventing people from selling goods bought in the Republic and keeping the VAT, or undercutting retail in the Republic by not adding VAT.)

  10. @AL URQA

    At the moment no one shows their passport at the border, I have cycled across the border and the only thing that told me was the signs in kmph rather than mph

    there is so many roads to be covered and farms that basically cover both sides of the border that I am not sure what happens

    So if you could get into RoI then the whole of ireland is open to you at the moment

    Basically I reckon there will be no choice but to have a hard border somewhere be it in the irish sea or the actual border. we want to diverge from the EU so there will be checks

  11. Tory conference off to a good start…

    “Conservative conference 2018

    Major security flaw in Tory conference app reveals users’ data
    Images posted to social media show people accessing data of senior Tories such as Boris Johnson and Michael Gove
    Mattha Busby, Jim Waterson and Michael Savage
    Sat 29 Sep 2018 16.08 BST First published on Sat 29 Sep 2018 15.40 BST

    A major flaw in the Conservatives’ official conference mobile phone application has made the private data of senior party members – including cabinet ministers – accessible to anyone that logged in as that particular conference attendee.

    The data of hundreds of attendees to the Tory conference could be viewed by second guessing attendees’ email addresses, with Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Gavin Williamson and others among those whose personal information – including their phone numbers – was made accessible.”

  12. @ Bill Patrick

    “If FPTP really gives Labour a kicking for the next 15 years or so … then I can definitely see them joining with the Lib Dems et al and bringing in PR.”

    An alternative is that the next couple of GEs follow 2010 and 2017 in producing a hung parliament. Would probably need a resurgence of LibDem. But if that starts to become the norm, then the old argument of FPTP producing a stable government seriously breaks down (if it hasn’t already).

  13. Good afternoon all from a dry and cloudy Central London.

    Allan Christie

    “The problem with the “occupied territory” label is that it’s occupied by people that the then Tory Government allowed to take control over that tract of land”

    “Political decisions taken by weak, or incompetent, governments have a tendency to come back to bite their successors in the bum many years later”

    I don’t dispute anything in your comment but what I will say is this. I just hope the UK government has plenty of Tetanus vaccine because of all that bum biting. ;-)

  14. TriGuy,

    Yes the horse trading view that it is better in big tent parties so voters no what they are getting before voting rather than politicians deciding what accommodation to make to form coalitions.

  15. PETE B

    “While I don’t necessarily agree with papal authority it obviously mattered at the time, and calling Northern Ireland ‘(The occupied territory) of Ireland.’ as you do, is like me saying that England is the occupied territory of England because of the Norman Conquest!”

    I get your point but in all fairness the Norman Conquest hasn’t left England divided along religious grounds nor has it left real social and political problems in today’s England as a legacy.

    Even though the Plantations into Northern Ireland happened centuries ago it still has the feel and looks of something far more recent.

    All that aside, it’s now for the people of Northern Ireland to determine their own future is they wish to do so.

  16. @ SAM – thank you for the detailed reply and link. The “waiver” due to national security is an interesting idea.

    More importantly, the article (and my post) point out that we will, at a minimum, be buying time and then it is a new and previously untested case that will have to be made by US or someone else.

    The point is, as stated in your article:
    “Months or years later, the ruling MIGHT conclude that the UK had discriminated”

    Emphasis added because they then go on to say:

    “the difference (discrimination) is at the ports and not with the products ”

    That is a VERY important difference! We can check RoI apples at point of sale or somewhere else away from the land border and have existing powers to do so in case of smuggling, etc. If RoI apples arrive in Belfast from a boat from say Cork we can check at the port in the same way we could check apples arriving on boat from port of NY and NJ [1] – ie no discrimination at port of entry)

    I think the authors are missing/confusing the issue of Ireland being a “biosecurity” zone – it is an island and some Irish sea border controls already exist on cattle, etc (as used during foot and mouth period in GB). The ERG/Trimble proposal is to register the island of Ireland as a “biosecurity” zone. I was slightly surprised DUP signed off on it. I doubt EC will willingly agree to it but we have to ask (or hope they offer it).

    Assuming “no deal” then the most important question is what happens when the first NI farmer crosses the RoI border after 11:00:01pm on 29Mar’19 (ie a very long time before a legal case files a ruling)

    Will RoI have hardened their side of the border or do the EC want to risk the US or someone else filing against RoI (which then makes it an issue for the whole EU)?

    [1] If Boris decides to build a bridge to USA then we’ll have a problem ;)

  17. Something, possibly the only thing, McDonnell and I agree on – Hammond:

    “increasingly irrelevant and cut off from the real day to day life most people experience”

  18. DAVWEL

    You’re being extremely naughty and selective with that link. I disagree with the the practices of the UK government and UK Border Agency on what was highlighted in your link but what has that got to do with Brexit?

    With or without Brexit what’s highlighted in your link would still happen.

    The problem I have with the current immigration rules when it comes to Scotland is that on two occasions there has been high profiles cases were a Canadian family (who owned a business) and an Australian family who were being told to leave the UK because they did not meet the home office criteria yet in Glasgow it’s not hard to find Romanian EU nationals jobless and begging in the streets yet are here legally!!

    I know the Scottish government are extremely tolerant and compassionate towards those wanting to move into Scotland and call it their home but I do disagree with them with the wholesale of free movement of people from the EU.

  19. “Basically I reckon there will be no choice but to have a hard border somewhere be it in the irish sea or the actual border. we want to diverge from the EU so there will be checks”
    @passtherockplease October 1st, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    Yep, and that’s the point of my questions. If it’s just ‘technological’ solutions, how do you technologically check someone’s passport? They say FoM is to end, so you have to have passport checks, and they can only be at the Irish border, which is just a stupid idea, or at the sea border, which makes most sense but then you’ve the DUP to answer to.

    And again on VAT. If we are to have nothing to do with the EU fraud is easy.

    Why did no one ever suggest this before the referendum?


    Is that not a defacto border in the Irish sea????

    I think the fact you believe the Tories would come close to your agenda is amazing, it is like Tony Blair thinking that balirism is coming back. There is not the critical mass that believes in anything but austerity and cutting the state. You are arguing that they need to go against their mantra and incorporate the state somehting that they have paetently failed to do in the two years years that May has had running the country and there is very little noise from anyone else but the free marketeers whom want globalisation on steriods

    So All I can conclude is that you hope that your brexit vote would bring the right governmental policies to be successful and if they did not and we got Corbyn you would have voted to remain.

    That is a trifecta of hopes firstly that the EU would give the UK the sort of Brexit it wants (essentially EU membership without the rules and without the FoM) and then he right party and right policies would win out in the Tory party, and that they would win a majority to implement them.

    You are 0 for 3 at the moment, I reckon you could get a CETA deal but one with none of the plusses you seem to think you can get or a no deal which I think the thin deal will slowly crush the super canada deal anyway

    As to part two well no one seems to have gotten past sound bites nor have they gotten to anything resembling policy so even your second punt looks like it is not happening. But the third I think there is a fair chance of the Tories getting to power I just don’t see them doing anything different they cut taxes a little they invest a little more but we are way down on R&D investment per capita of GDP and we are very poor in terms of skills and creating jobs which require skills and so I don’t see any change happening soon

    The alternative is Javid and Boris I suspect that is going to be a dream team.

    As many Tory commentators have conceded that Corbyn is asking the right questions (I remind you that these are the same question that the Red Ed asked and were kind of ignored) so as I said previously

    It is going to be the same old same old. With a bit of giving John foreigner a good talking too.

    It feel more like John major 1997 only we have 4 years to go

  21. AllanC:

    Brexit will increase the number of persons meantime in Scotland who will potentially have to be deported, in my view.

    The bigger and more widespread the issue is, the more hostility will be generated.

  22. Perhaps someone should point out that NI and Ireland have different rates of VAT, petrol duty and excuse duties now. The passport question is largely a red herring because Ireland is not in Schengen so passports are already shown at its ports and airports. Using Ireland as rather convoluted and expensive means of entering the UK just isn’t going to happen – at least not in any noticeable numbers. If it was then the ferries would be full of the illegal imigrants who queue up at Calais now.

  23. @AL URQA

    Remainers lost the argument. We asked the queston and we are told the EU would be so want to be our best mates they would give us what we want, we said no they won’t we’d be a third party and they said no they will be giving us blow jobs while we buy their BMW’s, and prosecco. No one seemed to ask the EU CoM what they would do and no one even cared about the history of negotiations that the EU have conducted.

    My only response is that reality will take care of itself, TREVOR WARNE is tying himself in knots saying everything will be all right and that rules allow us to do what we like, but even BJ and JRM understand there is going to be a border somewhere we have to make up our mind where.


    TBH when I was working in Belfast the administration was pressing the government to allow NI to have the same CT rates as the RoI and to harmonise much of the systems of VAT etc because it made sense I suspect in the long term you would have seen a slow merging of taxation to allow the Island of Ireland to be come somewhat more seamless, but that was before brexit and the DUP scandals

    Oh and getting to ireland is not convoluted you showing your passport is not an issue All it does is identify you. You can fly internally with any photo id in the UK and you can cross the border with no id was I did cycling for example and on the train when I forgot my wallet in our dublin office

    There is no checks on anything not goods not people not ANYTHING it is like going from London to Reading

    I keep thinking that peopel should get this and then peopel say stuff that seems to make me feel they just don’t

  25. @AL URQA

    There is no intention to abolish the Common Travel Area and introduce immigration controls on the island of Ireland and never has been. That’s been a settled issue on all sides since day one.

    It is true that this means that an EU citizen wishing to work illegally in London could travel to Ireland, cycle over the border, catch a ferry and a train to Lonon and then work illegally.

    But since they could also come to London directly by pretending to be a tourist and then work illegally I don’t think that’s massive loophole.

  26. Trevor W

    I am not absolutely sure you have got the point of MFN. If the UK government chooses to have an open border between NI and Ireland it may have to apply that to all those with whom it trades.

  27. Old Govey is cranking up the anti-Corbyn and Labour-loathing at the Tory Conference this afternoon and the delegates, or those few who’ve bothered to attend, are lapping it up. Here’s a taste of what he said: –

    “This week, in this party, for the sake of our children, let us commit to unite so that the Moscow-loving, Hamas-hugging, high-taxing, moderate-bashing, job-destroying, national anthem-avoiding, NATO-hating, class war-provoking, one-man museum of economic folly that is Jeremy Corbyn, is never let anywhere near Downing Street.”

    Yes, if it’s all gone a bit dead, this sort of stuff is guaranteed to get things moving. I believe Heseltine used to call them the erogenous zones of the Tory Party. Gove has located them this afternoon.

    For what it’s worth, I think this sort of stuff plays into Corbyn’s hands. It’s so ad hominen, personal and wild that I think old Jezza will be delighted to hear it echo beyond the confines of the Conference Hall in Birmingham. Tory delegates love it but the wider public? I’m far less sure

  28. PeterW,

    The continuation of the Common Travel Area is the subject of several paragraphs in the draft Withdrawal Agreement. You are right that everyone wants it to continue but if there is no Withdrawal Agreement it is entirely unclear whether there will be a legal basis for the CTA to continue.

  29. Having taken a bit of time away from UKPR to deal with real life, I feel like I have enough free time to waste some of it on interminable Brexit discussions. I have to agree with TW that May and Hammond are an utterly disastrous pair, their overcautious reluctance to do anything more than tinker round the edges couldn’t be more ill-suited to the times or to actually having to deliver on Brexit. Hammond’s insistence on just keeping on trucking with austerity, despite a sluggish economy and only something like 4% of the electorate supporting its continuation, is equally baffling and maddening.


    Actually, your questions serve to illustrate how the Irish border issue is being wildly overhyped, because they both relate to issues which currently exist but aren’t considered enough of a problem to necessitate border controls:

    The UK and Ireland are in a Common Travel Area which long predates the EU and Schengen, allowing one another’s citizens passport-free travel and the right to work and live anywhere in Britain and Ireland. Nationals from other countries, including the rest of the EU, are subject to passport checks when they travel from the UK to Ireland and vice versa, and that currently includes when they cross the NI border. If it isn’t a problem to forgo passport checks at the border at present, then I see no reason why it should be in the future.

    As for VAT, the UK and Ireland already have different rates of sales taxation on all sorts of items. Because of this difference the smuggling of tobacco and alcohol, and the laundering of fuel, are widespread. These are the major areas of criminality that arise at borders, the same things happen at the Norway/Sweden frontier, and yet we manage to police them based on intelligence and without erecting border infrastructure. I am yet to hear a convincing explanation of how being under two separate customs regimes will create a larger criminal risk of smuggling than that which already exists and is dealt with without the need for a hard border.

  30. @bill patrick
    “* As it turned out, this was to their long-term advantage!”

    Or perhaps not, would the SNP have got the foothold without the MMS allowing them to do so?


    yes, I’m aware of the history, was simply pointing out that it is one of the few ways that will allow the division to diffuse and that the nature of fptp, as demonstrated in the US and, recently, here, is to underline and entrench division.

  31. “Using Ireland as rather convoluted and expensive means of entering the UK just isn’t going to happen”
    @nearlyfrench October 1st, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    Thanks. That may be the limiting factor. But it’s not really taking back control of our borders, is it? Then again that could be the plan; to have a policy based on ‘oh, it’s too difficult,’ or ‘oh, I can’t be @rsed.’

    My point is not border checks in Ireland. Anyone from anywhere in the EU is allowed to go to Ireland. But once there under the current open border proposals we wouldn’t be able to stop EU nationals from freely crossing into the UK. And in any case, it only needs someone to organise a couple of bus-loads of Romanians to make the journey (unchecked once they land in Dublin) for the newspapers to kick up a stink.

    I know it’s not the same, but I remember in the 1980s when a few unemployed (it wasn’t big numbers) thought it would be a good wheeze to go to Blackpool and sign on there — because it was allowed. The papers went berserk! ‘Abusing our system,’ etc.

  32. @ PRTP – “Is that not a defacto border in the Irish sea????”

    There is already a border in the Irish sea for the spread of disease, etc between the two islands (GB and Ireland) but even so I did say I was surprised DUP agreed to the ERG-Trimble plan. Try to keep up ;)

    The rest of your post is quite an amusing projection of your own views but for sure if May+Hammond don’t change then we’ll end up with Corbyn+McDonnell. That is why I want the GE before 29Mar’19 and since Chuquers is dead I reckon we’ll then end up with a Clean Brexit with new CON or No/Messy Brexit with Corbyn. I’d prefer the former but am not in denial about the risk of the latter.

    FWIW, if you multiply out the x-breaks in the most recent YG then CON-Leave are the highest group (31%), LAB-Remain second at 25%. CON-Remain and LAB-Leave are much smaller.

    Lord Ashcroft has recently been writing about the issue of Brexit not mapping to the usual partisan split. Well worth a read.

    In your chat with AL URQA, I’m not sure if either of you have heard of the Common Travel Area (CTA), in place since 1923, or are aware that neither UK or RoI are in Schengen.

    @ SAM – more on “biosecurity”

    Customs checks or even outright bans are allowed if you have reason “to prevent the spread of pests or diseases among animals and plants” p9:

    This would clearly give grounds for Defra to continue to impose relevant SPS checks on relevant non-Irish agri-food coming into NI (via boat or plane) – on a product by origin basis.

    Also regarding US being the ones to object they’d be on very thin ice. HIRETON kindly posted an article on last thread showing how fastidious the US are about protecting their agri-food sector. If the US try to build a case against UK based on US apples posing no biosecurity risk then they open pandora’s box on their own protectionism!

    As always the actual trade in the actual goods is important. We are a huge net importer of food – in virtually every category! We currently import a lot of apples from France, second is S.Africa. If we import more apples from US after Apr’19 and less from France then US producers will be happy with lower tariffs (code for apples is 08 080 108090, CET of 125.5EUR/100kg) – of course the continental exporters of agri-food to UK will be a bit upset and they have quite strong lobby groups in many EU27 countries with EP elections coming up in May’19!

  33. Differences in approach but a common purpose: each minister I have heard speak thus far is supporting the leadership of the conservative party: their own leadership bids I should add.

    Hunt with the most radical shift in attitude to policy tries to sell himself as more “leave than the leavers”. Then he takes a leaf out of the BoJo playbook in the competition for the most outrageously exaggerated statement by comparing the EU to the USSR (presumably by sending the tanks in. We have more tanks than the EU by the way, they have none).

    Hammond sells himself as the “safe pair of hands”. His approach is that of the accountant let’s not take any risks. He accepts the referendum but argues that its better to support chequers because then the EU can come and tell us what is wrong with it. I fear this will not help him with the Tory rank and file and my analogy is that he is the man at the heart of the maul, holding on to the ball, forgetting that the other side get the put in when it stops moving for a second time.

    Gove has gone for “attack the other side is the best form of defence”. The problem is that once the witticisms and laughs in the hall are over, answers to the question, where is the substance, are hard to see. Gove also has the problem that he now has to appear ultra loyal to overcome the soubriquet of Boris’ back stabber.

    Boris, I am afraid, has become the victim of his own publicity. The buffoon persona has come back to haunt him as slowly he becomes the butt of jokes: when even Hammond can impersonate you as a fool your days as a serious politician must be numbered.

    However, all of this is simply the milieu in which Theresa May finds herself and has done since June 2017. It his her speech, if any which will make an impact on polls. Nothing can be as bad as last year, but therein lies the problem, I am no TM supporter by any means but I felt sorry for her last year and if I were not a committed voter with firmly placed allegiances that sympathy might have impacted on me, I am sure it did on uncommitted voters. So, if the speech is workmanlike but nothing more, there might be a downward pressure on Tory VI. That said, Polldrums have been in place for some time now.
    The geographical location of doldrums is along the equator until someone breaks decisively North (Leave) or South (Remain) I fear the Polldrums may continue.

  34. @ GARJ – welcome back!

    @ SAM – the UKPR delay post issue means I pre-answered your 3:29pm before I saw it and you might have already replied.

    You did catch me out a little with “apples”. Folks normally go for chicken or beef which could be an issue at a later date but not 30Mar’19.

    I am very happy to admit we’re probably just buying time. That is why the most important issue is how the RoI-EC respond to our “open border” policy (should it occur) on 30Mar’19 or 1Jan’21

    IMHO it will actually be EC who object via WTO. To do so they will have to sell out RoI in order to promote French, EU25 interests and protect Fortress EU’s CU+SM

    We’ve discussed how HMG can save NI farmers before.

    If EC force a hard border on RoI side then we could comfortably buy all of NI to RoI agri-food exports and would have justifiable reason to do so. I’d go a lot further and proactively encourage agri-food investment in NI (and other regions of UK) to replace some of the vast quantities of agri-food we buy from the RoIrish, French, Dutch, etc but I doubt Hammond, Bradley, Gove, etc would so so.

    Would EC and EU26 save RoI farmers? Somehow I doubt it and frankly I don’t care – that will be a problem for Varadkar to explain to his electorate.

  35. Link to the Ashcroft poll info I mentioned:

    He is highly discredited, biased and doesn’t give us the raw polling info but his key sentence is this one:

    “Only 13% of anti-austerity Leave voters who want a hard Brexit – precisely the kind of people the PM hoped to attract last June – think the Conservatives are on the side of people like them”

    We’ve seen this kind of info in other polls. After Brexit those potential CON voters will vote for Corbyn. May lied to the JAMS in 2016, is f**king up Brexit and Hammond is Osborne2.0

    Seats like Mansfield will certainly go back to LAB.

    May + Chequers = Corbyn

    Hammond = McDonnell

  36. New/relevant YG Brexit poll asking about different politicians true Brexit views.

    Paraphrasing: are the following Remain or Leave at heart:

    May: net 21 Remain
    Corbyn: net 21 Remain (but with DK=35!)

    Boris: net 50 Leave

    Majority of LAB MPs: net 47 Remain (DK=33)
    Majority of CON MPs: net 5 Remain (DK=33)

    Surprisingly little variation in the x-breaks.

    CON VI think that May is net 20 Remain and that CON MPs are net 3 Remain.

    CON VI are typically around 75% Leave!!

  37. @Crossbat11

    For what it’s worth, I think this sort of stuff plays into Corbyn’s hands. It’s so ad hominen, personal and wild that I think old Jezza will be delighted to hear it echo beyond the confines of the Conference Hall in Birmingham. Tory delegates love it but the wider public? I’m far less sure

    This line was tried against JC during the last GE.

    Isn’t one of the definitions of stupidity doing the same thing again and expecting a different result?

  38. WB61

    @” He accepts the referendum but argues that its better to support chequers because then the EU can come and tell us what is wrong with it.”

    He supports Chequers for the reasons he gave today-it makes cross border trade for goods free of hold ups. So its good for business. So its good for jobs.
    He went out of his way to say that it is for no one ( nudge nudge) to say that Cons no longer care about the interests of the sector which generates wealth & provides jobs.

    Of course he was referring to Boris, who, because he says “F**k BUsiness” is in no position to promise, as PH did , to introduce a unilateral digital services tax if attempts to agree international taxation of global media companies come to nothing.

    Notably (for Eyoore) he predicted a boost to economic growth once the Prime Minister agrees a Brexit deal with the EU.and a “deal dividend”.!!


  39. Listened to Raab who gets more fluent & assured by the day.

    More punchy too-has he been talking to Trump?

  40. @ Colin

    I accept those are the reasons given, my thesis is that the reason for his approach was to bid for leadership, when vacant, to attract support from a particular wing of the party without alienating the other.

    As to the reasons given his position was as set out by you with the caveat that the EU has its red lines and should come back with a proposal countering what they see as wrong with Chequers!

  41. JamesB,

    Labour were never going to hold power in Scotland indefinitely. PR meant that their defeats by the SNP were merely deluvian rather than apocalyptic.

  42. WB61

    Too much conspiracy there for me I think.

    He is a Remainer-he lost. But he is CoE and in the front line on risk to jobs & GDP.

    He thinks Chequers is his best bet on those criteria imo.

  43. Trevor Warne,
    “If EC force a hard border on RoI side then we could comfortably buy all of NI to RoI agri-food exports”

    Not sure I understand how that would work. Assume we have no import tariffs from S. Ireland. Anything from there remains as cheap as now. They impose tariffs to imports from the north, so we cannot sell south.

    Does the EU have a scheme so that items re-exported get the duty refunded? if so, that sounds like cross border business in the south, based on re exporting to the north continues perfectly happily as before. All S.Irish industry unaffected.

    Whereas, Any UK industry seeking to export south has to pay duties. As you suggest they might now need new markets. Discussion we have had in the past suggests that in fact the Uk does not use enough of the food products it produces to eat them all itself. So no, I do foresee difficulties finding new markets.

  44. And I do think that there are important differences between Scotland and Wales in this respect.

    In Wales, Labour are incumbents or live challengers almost everywhere at some point. I’m not sure that Wales will become a competitive democracy for decades to come.

    In Scotland, there are large regions where Labour have never prospered or at least not prospered for over a generation. FPTP wouldn’t have prevented the SNP (and to a lesser degree the Tories/Lib Dems) having a foothold in Scottish politics, because of the Highlands.

    Also, particularly in 1999-2015, a lot of Labour’s wounds in Scotland were self-inflicted, e.g. their inability to find a lasting leader and the deteriorating quality of those leaders. (I say that as someone who thinks that Donald Dewar is stunningly overrated.)

  45. Trevor Warne,
    “”Only 13% of anti-austerity Leave voters who want a hard Brexit – precisely the kind of people the PM hoped to attract last June – think the Conservatives are on the side of people like them””

    Recent poll said only half the supporters of any party think the party is on their side. Was it you who posted it?

    The question for the tories, which I keep repeating because I see it as vital for them, is what happens if they push through Brexit.

    As Ashchroft observed, leavers then have no particular reason to support the tories. Chances are leave in general will seek to blame the ill effects of brexit upon its implementation, and put that blame on the tories. You yourself seem already to be preparing this ground by suggesting ways to make brexit work …which seem most unlikely for the tory party to adopt.

    This misses the point that in practice many believe there is no good outcome from brexit whoever implemented it, and the proportion of remainers (or rejoiners) will grow rapidly if the negative outcomes of brexit prove to be true.

    So…what good outcomes are there for the tory party if it pushes through brexit? The only one is if Brexit proves a success, and few believe this truly likely – even leavers expect some sort of hit.

    Which is why I have argued the tories might well be better off switching to remain and seeking to get back onboard tory or centre remainers.

    Finessed, of course, to make this seem the most reluctant of choices so as to minimise the loss of leave supporters.

  46. Catmanjeff,
    “Isn’t one of the definitions of stupidity doing the same thing again and expecting a different result?”

    Not if it proved to be a good result and you dont expect a different result…

  47. “Isn’t one of the definitions of stupidity doing the same thing again and expecting a different result?”
    @catmanjeff October 1st, 2018 at 6:27 pm

    Too good not to hijack — this is precisely why the EU exists. The stupidity was everyone trying to dominate everyone else. How many times has France and Germany locked horns? Twice in 30 years and some clever old soul thought let’s try something different. After all, it can’t be any worse.

    Sixty (not always easy) years of success to date. I’ve said before it’s a 200-year project. You have to see it as a process; and the strength of support from the younger generation is encouraging.

    As is the resilience in the face of so much aggression. It’s now two and a half years since the vote, and there is still no clear majority to leave; the remainers are tenacious. Even if we do eventually leave it looks like we are not going far, will still be closely tied to the European project, with the possibility it won’t be long before remainer money works out how best to plan a path back.

    Leave has had all this time to plan its exit — but all it can do is repeat its vapid statements without any pragmatic development. Leave means leave — well big deal.

  48. @Colin

    “Listened to Raab who gets more fluent & assured by the day.”

    Other opinions are available, as I’m sure you’d agree!


  49. On passports and the Irish border.
    I think the concept of “Freedom of Movement” is often misunderstood. It’s not really about “Movement” at all, it’s about “Residence”.
    Under “Freedom of Movement”, EU citizens have the right to live and work, or claim benefits (within some constraints) anywhere within the EU. We are told this is one of the inseparable “four freedoms” – because apparently unless you customer base can live anywhere in the bloc, your goods can’t logically be sold anywhere in the bloc.
    EU citizens will in all likelihood be able to continue visa-free travel into and out of the UK after Brexit. In other words they will retain their “freedom of movement” just not necessarily their “Freedom Of Movement”.
    Now neither the UK or the Republic are in the “Schengen Area”, so travellers from either country to the Schengen area will have to show a passport to enter. Also, although passport is not strictly required to enter GB from NI, photo ID is and a lot of companies insist on a passport anyway.
    So, unless the Republic joins Schengen, the situation probably won’t change that much. A GB citizen travelling to Ireland or NI will need ID, and usually a passport, to get on the ferry or plane. If they travel onwards from the Republic to, say, France, they’ll need a passport.
    No need for passport checks at the Irish border, any more than there is now. Border checks are about goods, not people.

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