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. CB11

    Of course.

    Thats politics .

  2. I find it incomprehensible that May/Raab etc imply that they can’t understand why the EU reject Chequers and require more explanation. For goodness sake it breaks several of the basic principles upon which the EU is founded and about which they’ve been saying they will not compromise. They’ve not just been saying that for the last two years, but for decades. Do these people not listen or understand anything?

  3. Bill Patrick

    “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.)”

    I agree with that assessment, and I’m one who wouldn’t have joined SLab had Dewar not been a strong advocate of legislative autonomy (and he was the first recipient of my vote too!)

    I understand the argument that he limited legislative competence (or intended to) to matters that had been already administratively or centuries in some cases, decades in others, in Scottish hands.

    However, as a SLab politician he made massive errors of judgment as to which Lab members he would allow to become MSPs. Consequently, Holyrood became dominated by his personal coterie of family friends and supporters.

    Not that I’m complaining about that, in terms of Scotland moving forward constitutionally, but Dewar wasn’t the master of politics that he (and others) considered him to be.

  4. SDA

    @”

    Oh I think everyone is listening to everyone else actually :-

    “‘Fluid conversations’
    EU leaders will decide in a couple of weeks whether enough progress (and I’m told this means progress in atmosphere and intention rather than a resolution of all outstanding negotiation issues) has been made in order to call a special Brexit summit in November.

    This could slip to the EU leaders’ summit in December calling a Brexit meeting in January (still in time for the UK parliamentary vote on a Brexit deal).

    Or, this November, EU leaders and Theresa May will thrash out all the outstanding issues on the withdrawal agreement (notably the Irish border) and on the political declaration outlining the EU-UK post Brexit relationship.

    It is do-able. Just.

    And it would be what the prime minister always wanted – the European Commission out of the way – just her with her European peers pushing through to a deal both sides are aiming for.

    But to increase the chances of getting one, communication between the EU and UK has to be improved. That’s something both have learned from the crass misunderstandings on both sides at the Salzburg summit.

    “Conversations are fluid now,” a high-level contact told me.

    “It has to be if we are to reach a deal. We do not need to be face to face with Theresa May or Dominic Raab to communicate. We all know the next EU leaders’ summit will have to be carefully co-ordinated between the British and European sides. Unlike Salzburg.”

    Watch this space.”

    Katya Adler
    BBC EU Correspondent
    1 Oct 2018

  5. @ COLIN – Hammond poached Carney’s “deal dividend”. It was in the FT (paywall) but even the Remain press picked it up. £16bn.
    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/mark-carney-theresa-may-chequers-no-deal-16bn-brexit-a8538906.html

    He is so totally devoid of ideas he even had to steal that one!

    @ DANNY – !?!?! You seem to have contradicted yourself so I’m not sure what you’re on about.

    Anyway for you/others it seems ONS have some decent published info if you want the numbers. The database with finer detail is not published.

    See table 4 and click+play fig 5. in attached:
    https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/internationaltrade/articles/patternsofnorthernirelandtradebydestinationproductandbusinesscharacteristics/2012to2016#patterns-of-northern-ireland-trade-by-country-of-destination-and-product

    In the grand scheme of things (ie in comparison to GB’s enormous trade deficit in agri-food) the numbers are tiny.

    Maybe it was the wording so I’ll rephrase slightly:
    “If EC force a hard border on RoI side then GB, with assistance from HMG, could comfortably buy all of NI agri-food exports, that they currently sell to RoI”

    HMG has a duty to protect NI farmers, not RoI farmers. RoI farmers can take it up with Varadkar in the next RoI elections which given they have a hung parliament could happen soon after 30Mar’19, possibly before!

    Some adjustment time would help but given the amount of UK taxpayer money spent in NI (over £10bn/annum even before the £1bn bung to keep May as PM) we could, if it came to it, simply reimburse all NI farmers[1] for lost RoI export income as a stop-gap measure (and yes, that would be well within WTO “rules”)

    [1] GB is roughly self-sufficient on milk+cream as it is perishable. Everything else NI exports to RoI, GB net imports and things like non-alcoholic beverages, etc are far less perishable. There would be some issues in rejigging supply chains to export more to GB rather than RoI but current levels of NI exports to GB are much bigger than NI exports to RoI so it wouldn’t be that big a deal.

  6. On the Macedonian referendum on name change, Chris Prosser makes the interesting observation that the turnout threshold (so beloved by some) can be utter nonsense.

    https://twitter.com/caprosser/status/1046718219774558209

    Yesterday’s name change referendum in Macedonia is a great example of why turnout thresholds are a bad idea. If you missed it, 94.2% of votes were cast for Yes but the turnout was only 36.6% and there was a threshold of 50% so it failed

    But there were so many Yes votes that Yes would have won up to a turnout of 68% even if *every single one* of the extra votes had been cast for No. With a 50% threshold, if an extra 241,775 extra No voters had shown up, then Yes would have won.

  7. Meanwhile in Germany, according to the Guardian :
    “Controversial plans to chop down a German forest to build a vast coal mine should proceed because Germany needs the polluting fuel to keep the lights on”

    German industry 1st. Environment 2nd.

  8. Jones in Bangor

    Some things not clear from your post.

    Is the Guardian advocating that this happen, or is it just reporting on it?

    If the latter, then it is presumably someone’s point of (somewhat Trumpian) view, but is it likely to happen? Are those advocating an expansion of coal mining, likely to be successful in persuading the authorities?

    A link to the article (rather than your rather partial last line) would have been useful.

  9. @Oldnat

    “Thomas Bareiß says use of polluting fuel at RWE plant is needed to keep the lights on”

    He’s the German State Secretary for Energy.

  10. Jones in Bangor

    That’s much more illuminating (pun intended).

  11. @OLDNAT

    Very good.

  12. Jones in Bangor (or rather everyone else)

    The article on German energy and lignite use is here

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/oct/01/german-minister-backs-plan-to-cut-down-forest-to-build-coal-mine

  13. Jones in Bangor

    @”German industry 1st. Environment 2nd.”

    German politics 1st. Environment 2nd I think.

    Nuclear Bad-Coal OK.

    Wind Turbines at the wrong end of the country.

  14. “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.”
    @Neil A October 1st, 2018 at 8:15 pm

    Well it ultimately derives from the ECSC, TW’s Cartel, article 69. Clause 1 says:

    https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Treaty_establishing_the_European_Coal_and_Steel_Community_(ECSC)
    1. The member States bind themselves to renounce any restriction based on nationality against the employment in the coal and steel industries of workers of proven qualifications for such industries who possess the nationality of one of the member States; this commitment shall be subject to the limitations imposed by the fundamental needs of health and public order.

    This was a big step at the time, and the history of the decade after WWII is impressive. It was done for significant political reasons — the need to lock down any return to aggression; the fear of the USSR; and the need to offer hope and direction for the future.

    The super-nationality of this treaty, and the experience gained, fed into the subsequent attempts at co-operation and ultimately the EEC/EU.

    “Freedom of Movement,” using your nomenclature, is very deeply embedded.

  15. TREVOR WARNE.

    @” Hammond poached Carney’s “deal dividend””

    You mean Hammond listened , along with his Cabinet colleagues to the Bank of England presentation………….then quoted it at the Tory Conference…………..?.

  16. ON & JonesBangor

    Here is a better link on the value of the German ancient woodland being steadily felled:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hambach_Forest

    I am pleased to see so many fighting this, and hope it can be stopped soon.

    We had similar unthinking damage in the name of “progress”, and profiting from available peat resources, in the Caithness/Sutherland “Flow Country” in the 1960s and 1970s. Tonight`s BBC 1 Paul Murton 30-minute trek in the far north showed one of the gigantic peat harvesting machines and the power station nearby, all long abandoned due to pressure from UK conservationists.

    Moreover Paul showed a big tract from which peat had been harvested still looking devastated in 2018. The Tory government in those decades spearheaded the shocking devastation of the Flow Country giving tax breaks for afforestation, and Labour were ineffective at stopping.

  17. @JiB / Old Nat

    Brexit pales into insignificance when you discover a government is proposing mass tree felling to allow new coal production and coincidentally on the same day experts are predicting quickening global warming. The stupidity makes me really angry.

  18. Davwel

    Thanks for that link. It’s much more informative than the Guardian article.

    Incidentally, did you see Andy Wightman’s comment on a Visit Scotland tweet on the “beauty” of the “devastated, deforested Cairngorms”, which (to their credit) Visit Scotland then deleted.

    https://twitter.com/andywightman/status/1044850564142694400

  19. “For goodness sake it breaks several of the basic principles upon which the EU is founded and about which they’ve been saying they will not compromise. They’ve not just been saying that for the last two years, but for decades. Do these people not listen or understand anything?”

    ——–

    Well the critical issue is what the relevant voters understand. If there is a demographic that don’t understand something, or are eager to accept an alternative slant that demonises some favourite bête noir, for eggers, then you can play to that instead.

    A lot of it is about what the dominant voting demographic want. Thus, we may get tax rises to pay for NHS, because guess who rather needs the NHS. But other stuff not so much…

  20. “You mean Hammond listened , along with his Cabinet colleagues to the Bank of England presentation………….then quoted it at the Tory Conference…………..?.”

    ——

    To be fair to Trev, it would be quite hard to pinch it if you didn’t first listen to it then copy it. Jus’ sayin’…

  21. @OldNat

    “On the Macedonian referendum on name change, Chris Prosser makes the interesting observation that the turnout threshold (so beloved by some) can be utter nonsense.”

    The sensible threshold shouldn’t necessarily be % turnout, it should be the winning side required to get over 50% of all those eligible to vote. I haven’t done the maths on the Macedonian referendum, but I’m guessing that the amount of yes votes, even though they formed 94% of all the votes cast, fell some way short of 50% of the entire electorate.

    A 36% turnout is pitiful and I can well understand why the Macedonian government wanted a bigger popular mandate to make the change. That said, the bar should have been set at 50% of the electorate, but I sympathise with their cruder turnout threshold.

  22. @OLDNAT (on thresholds)

    The trouble is of course if everyone knows there is a threshold, then active abstention/boycotting by the side who are for the status quo can ensure victory, whilst producing an extremely distorted result.

    You can obviously never “know” how it would have actually gone, but in the Macedonia case for example, then yes it’s surely reasonable to argue that if turnout had been in the high 60s or low 70s rather than the 30s then a truly massive disproportion of those extra votes would likely have been for No?

  23. CB11

    “I haven’t done the maths on the Macedonian referendum” Neither have I, but Prosser has and his point is not about achieving a majority of the electorate as a measure (with all non-voters counting as opponents of change) but that the turnout threshold is a poor one.

    As he points out, had sufficient voters to meet the 50% turnout threshold, turned out to cast a vote and every single one of those non-participants had voted No, then Yes would still have won.

    It is valid to argue the very different point that a particular percentage of the electorate should approve a change (though that argument, unsurprisingly, has the strongest appeal to those who want no change) before it can be implemented.

    The dead lack the means to approve change, whatever their views in life.

    However, when only 36% turn out to vote in a referendum, it would be a reasonable assumption that 64% don’t give a damn either way, and the government should just take the decision.

    You may remember that in the ludicrous AV referendum in the UK the turnout was only 6% higher than in the Macedonian one.

  24. On the Irish border question – I’ve never understood what the idea of people being able to cross the border unchallenged has to do with anything in regard to Brexit. Freedom of movement as I understand both sides to worry about it is economic, it’s about freedom to work, isn’t it?

    And that’s already controlled for the most part by the requirement that every UK employer checks that the people they take on can prove they are eligible to work in the UK. So if a Spaniard or a Pole or a Greek wants to come and work in the UK, either pre or post whatever kind of Brexit we end up with (or don’t!), it matters not a jot whether they fly into Heathrow, get a ferry to Dover or walk across a farmland border near Crossmaglen, They’ll still have to prove the same thing to get a job.

  25. Edge of Reason

    “it’s surely reasonable to argue that if turnout had been in the high 60s or low 70s rather than the 30s then a truly massive disproportion of those extra votes would likely have been for No?”

    Of course you can make such an argument, but I strongly suspect that your understanding of politics in (what we must continue to call FYR Macedonia) is on a par with mine (or more accurately in Ryder Cup mode, on a triple bogey).

    Lacking that understanding, it would be more than a little presumptuous to assume ow those who didn’t give a damn would have voted if they had given a damn.

    What would be interesting would be to find out if there was a turnout difference between the Slavic Macedonian and Albanian populations, and the reasons for any such differential turnout.

  26. @OLDNAT

    Fair point in that neither of us is claiming any particular local insight.

    At the same time, if one side boycotts a referendum with a turnout threshold and one side does not, it probably doesn’t need a great understanding of local politics to accept that the result of such a vote is not likely to be particularly helpful in determining opinion, beyond perhaps roughly indicating the voting strength that the side that didn’t boycott can muster.

  27. Edge of Reason

    Also a fair point. Since (I gather) the right wing opposition Slavic Macedonian party chose to boycott the referendum because they didn’t want any agreement with Greece, or any engagement with the EU (I’ve done a quick search), and saw the turnout threshold as the tactic, then it does demonstrate that spoiler tactics can work as well there as in Scotland (1979) or UK (AV referendum).

    I see BBC is reporting that the PM intends to push ahead with the change anyway, if he can persuade a dozen or so opposition MPs to change their stance.

    It’s depressingly like Brexit!

  28. Sam
    Thank you for the link you provided earler tonight though it was, alas, too long for me to read in its entirety. I did read the introduction and conclusion however, and it seemed to make sense.
    ——————
    JamesB
    “Part of the way the division is reinforced in the US is because people end up attached to the ‘least worst’ option.”

    I think that’s how a lot of non-tribal voters vote in this country too.
    ——————————–
    Allan Christie
    “Even though the Plantations into Northern Ireland happened centuries ago it still has the feel and looks of something far more recent.”

    That’s because the Irish need to get a grip and move into the modern world. England had religious divisions for a long time after the Reformation. I don’t think Catholics had the vote until the 1820s for instance. We also had a Civil War between the King and Parliament, but (except probably for a few nutters) no-one in England cares about what religion anyone is or whether they are a Royalist or not. The one exception might be Moslems because they keep blowing us up, but most English realise that it is only a small minority that do that and do not hate people just because they are Moslem.
    ———————————-
    Al Urqa
    “And again on VAT. If we are to have nothing to do with the EU fraud is easy.”

    If we’re out of the EU we don’t have to have VAT at all. It was only introduced because Heath (spit) was told to by the EEC.

    “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.”

    And now many seaside towns (especially Blackpool) are full of dole-scroungers.
    ————————————
    WB61
    “We have more tanks than the EU by the way, they have none”

    Useful to know.
    —————————
    Edge of Reason
    “They’ll still have to prove the same thing to get a job.”

    Unless they’re employed in the Black Economy of course.

  29. Irish Times editorial comment

    https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/editorial/the-irish-times-view-on-jeremy-hunt-s-history-lesson-offensive-and-preposterous-1.3647909

    “Prisoner? Yet the door is open. You are free to leave any time, Mr Hunt. Go, and take your baggage with you. But the trouble is that you don’t want just to leave. You want to retain all the rights of those remaining incarcerated – free lunches, participation in communal training, the right to sell your wares in the cellblocks unhindered ….

    And then there’s the small matter of your other commitments. Like that to Ireland and a frictionless Border – there’s your insistence that when you make a choice to leave the EU, it is the EU, not you, which must change its rules to accommodate your obligations to your own citizens.

    At a time when negotiations with partners are particularly sensitive, with 10 days to the crucial October summit, one might expect tact and sensitivity would be the order of the day for a country’s senior diplomat. Yet your comparison with the Soviet Union could not be calculated to be more offensive to states that remember that regime only too well, to leaders like Angela Merkel who emerged from that system. “Open a history book from time to time,” the European Commission’s spokesman suggested politely yesterday.”

  30. @NEILA

    The border issue I think is simple. It is essentially at the Irish sea. most people agree that we already have something of the kind what is difficult is actually writing it down since that splits the union and makes the argument for a devolved Scotland to make the same sort of argument for joining the Customs Union for example. Hence the view of the red line. Now the UK wants to finesse this and the EU wants it written down and that is the problem. As May said no PM of the UK will agree to that and therefore we have the NI impasse

    I and many other had stated what the UK wants is a do what you like border in which it appears that the EU concedes that the UK cannot have a border in the Irish sea and yet that is what happens in actuality

    I agree that the border issues are about goods but this is about the rules themselves not the practicability. The point is the UK wants there to be no rules because it suits it’s agenda the moment you tie it to a ruleset you have problems.

  31. @NEILA

    The border issue I think is simple. It is essentially at the Irish sea. most people agree that we already have something of the kind what is difficult is actually writing it down since that splits the union and makes the argument for a devolved Scotland to make the same sort of argument for joining the Customs Union for example. Hence the view of the red line. Now the UK wants to finesse this and the EU wants it written down and that is the problem. As May said no PM of the UK will agree to that and therefore we have the NI impasse

    I and many other had stated what the UK wants is a do what you like border in which it appears that the EU concedes that the UK cannot have a border in the Irish sea and yet that is what happens in actuality

    I agree that the border issues are about goods but this is about the rules themselves not the practicability. The point is the UK wants there to be no rules because it suits it’s agenda the moment you tie it to a ruleset you have problems.

  32. @AL URQA

    It seems that the problem that EU has and will always have is that mostly it works seamlessly. We love the seamless parts (although we don’t know what they are) much of the issue I believe for the UK is that we are an Island. We are able by virtue of a geographical barrier seemingly distinct. When I travelled by road from France to Germany you see a distinct border people multilingual and by definition a combination of two countries we do not have that. We define our relationships by dominance even in point of cooperation we sell ourselves as distinct and hence much of what we do is rather and think is not based on fact but based on belief.

    I feel the simple fact of ECSC was a precursor of what we have now and it aims were deep rooted is lost on people. It is why Charles de Gaulle kept saying no. The UK set itself apart it is in our DNA it seems.

    As a remainer I one concenssion to the idea of leaving is that we as a nation are just not suitable bedfellows. Where others tend to have clarity, we tend to have obfuscation, and vice versa. We have no constitution where as most everyone else has a simple example.

    Our exceptionalism means we obfuscate what we sign up to. WE have a massive set of beliefs that are just not couched in fact and as such no amount of fact will win an argument.

    I take the NI border issue as a part of a massive conundrum. In brexit full of conundrums. Most agree that we have a defacto Irish sea border.
    The EU wants that to be formalised, UK cannot formalise what is an actuality because it seemingly breaks up the union and as THE OTHER HOWARD and many others have said no PM of the UK will agree to that. So we need a fudge which is not legal but carries legality and a border which is not a border but is

    When we ruled a quarter of the planet we could do what we liked, and this would have been easy we just don’t rule the world anymore

  33. Passtherockplease,
    “The border issue I think is simple. It is essentially at the Irish sea.”

    Presumably this is why the DUP agreed to assist the government. Expressly on condition this could not happen. A difficult tightrope for them to walk, with the risk of being blamed for bringing about what they expressly oppose.

    But I agree, this has always been the obvious solution. Definitely cake for N. Ireland (except unionist hard liners)

  34. 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 ;)

    I have been keeping up and Both May and the ERG/BJ have ruled out a border in the Irish sea so no matter what is there in fact they wont sign a document saying it is so.

    It is akin to trying to get Blair to agree that Iraq was a [email protected], I know it is a [email protected]~k, you know it a [email protected]~k, hell even he knows it is a [email protected]~k but unless he writes it down somewhere for all to see or says it is a [email protected]~k. The point is people are trying to get him to write it down that it was a cluster [email protected]~k and he is not doing that for obvious reasons

    We cannot get an agreement that says the border is in the Irish sea no matter what the facts are on the ground. This is the madness of Brexit.

    As I said you are down in weeds on the detail if you lift your head up you will find the problem staring right back at you. A number of people have argued this point as to the solutions to the problem the point has been May has ruled out a border ANYWHERE. The ERG are trying to blur the border such that it appears EVERYWHERE and the EU believe we need a border SOMEWHERE.

    Do I appear up to speed

  35. Dare one mention the obvious solution, which is remain?

    Or my thesis that the government has ruled out all other options?

  36. @ PTRP – “May has ruled out a border ANYWHERE. The ERG are trying to blur the border such that it appears EVERYWHERE and the EU believe we need a border SOMEWHERE”

    Yep, that pretty much sums it up. I’d have thrown in a few “mights” and “eventually” but I’m fully aware EC want an “all weather” backstop and Hammond takes their side rather than listening to HMRC!

    @ CARFREW / COLIN – Carney himself of course pinched it from Leavers who always said there would be a “dip” in investments, spending due to the uncertainty.

    In rough GDP terms from 1Q16 to now we’re probably about £30bn below the parallel universe where Remain won.

    Roughly again, half is less debt fuelled spending than we might have had (less air blowing back up the bubble) and the other half is “investment” related (construction and manufacturing). Since we have a laissez faire govt that is entirely due to private sector – Hammond could have offset that but chose not to.

    IMHO we need to ween the consumer of debt but carefully! The “investment” part is certainly someting HMG can affect (with private sector) and effect (by direct action).

    This “investment backlog” IMHO pre-dates Brexit by decades but we don’t have a time machine to go back to 2016, 1992 or even earlier.

    The extent to which some or any of the “investment backlog” is released depends on lots of factors. The type of deal will affect the decision on many businesses of course (e.g. BriNO = some might move to E.Europe for larger state-aid and cheaper labour if we stay in CU, “No Deal” = some might move to UK to continue tariff free access to UK consumers). The type of govt will also be a huge factor (Marx bros will chase investment away, post ne0liberal centre-right could encourage it to stay/expand/move to UK). HMG themselves can directly effect the govt spending side (e.g. housing, infrastructure)

    Carney picked £16bn which looks like a lazy guess of about half £30bn.

  37. So another day in the death of the Tory party:

    1/ May steals the speech and headlines from leadership challenger Javid
    2/ Hammond backs the EC over Brexit again by indirectly calling the head of HMRC a li4r
    3/ Boris throws in another grenade – pulling the pin on his own su1cide vest as he does so

    and last and certainly least Morgan rules herself out of the Tory leadership contest – possibly to make a bid for the LDEM contest ;)

    Make way for Corbyn and McDonnell :(

  38. @DANNY

    Dare one mention the obvious solution, which is remain?

    Or my thesis that the government has ruled out all other options?

    I’ll preface this one with I am a remainer, however tell me the process/path that leads to remaining. I cannot see any political method that means we remain.

    We would hardly have time for a vote on the deal if we started the process of getting through the HoC/HoL now. We have no agreement on the question no view of what the deal is even going to be to debate it merits compared to no deal or remaining.

    As I have argued with LEAVERS who believe a deal is possible I keep saying what red line goes and I am left with the ‘hopey changey thing’ or ‘I can’t believe that EU and the UK cannot come up with a deal.’

    Well I can see no decision process which get the UK to remain. Even if there is a majority for staying I believe it needs to be 60-40 in order for any politician to push any start button. We don’t have 60-40. and more importantly when we do (because I believe we will, look at Iraq) it will be too late.

    My view is that remain blew it before the referendum, we have had some 40 year of negative press the public only know of negativity associated with the EU. My only surprise was that it was so close

    So yes it is obvious but like the border issue I stated above politics is not about the obvious

  39. @Danny

    “Or my thesis that the government has ruled out all other options?”

    I saw an interview with May earlier this morning where she made a great play of the Chequers Plan being the only show in town and how there was going to be neither a second referendum nor General Election while she still has anything to do with it. I think most of this low politics with her advisers spying some leverage after Labour’s sort of commitment to a second referendum, with remain an option, should all else fail. I’m guessing that the political calculation for May and the remaining Chequers loyalists is that they can chip away at Labour’s Leave voters, who they think may feel betrayed by the second referendum pledge, soften Brexit enough to hang on to most of their Remain voters and somehow stave off a parliamentary revolt from disillusioned Hard Brexiteers. That’s the plan, I think, with May staggering on as long as she can after the conclusion of thei Brexit negotiations, hoping, I presume, that the polls will show that the public backs the outcome and her resilience.

    For this to be a credible plan, I think there are a number of impossible things here that need to be believed before breakfast. First is the likelihood of getting anything through the Commons. Her 2017 election disaster and subsequent botched Brexit negotiations, as we all know, have produced a Commons where no majority appears to exist for any outcome. Accordingly, she’s destined to fail that first giant obstacle. Her cunning 2017 election ruse, of course, was to engineer a gargantuan Commons majority that would mean she didn’t have to worry about Parliament. That’s now for the birds. Second, I think Corbyn’s offer of a People Vote, should the whole thing descend into a constitutional and political impasse, will gather resonance. My sense is that Corbyn’s political calculation trumps May’s on this one. I can see Remainers being a more fluid floating vote factor than Leavers in terms of migrating across party lines. I accept the jury may be out on that one though. Third, and I think this is the killer for the Tories, is that the Party membership and about 50 MPs will be up in arms about the inevitable sticky fudge that May will inevitably have to bring back to the Commons in November, or whenever. It will be a half in/half out concoction that they just won’t wear. 45 years of hurt and bile will spew henceforth. Farage Part 2 rides again.

    I’ve never, in all my years of following politics (about 50 now) ever known a PM so stuck up a creek without a paddle as May is today.

  40. @TREVOR WARNE

    Yep, that pretty much sums it up.

    I am glad I am keeping up with events……but in fairness form memory DANNY and other said this many moon ago. Nothing about this has changed.

    In truth we need a border SOMEWHERE would you not agree? nd There is already a border SOMEWHERE (Irish Sea ) why are not brexiteers with the votes pushing this because only Hammond whom you hate seems to be saying that this is the only option (although doing so rather slyly)

    As I said this is the madness of brexit

  41. TREVOR WARNE

    @”Carney picked £16bn which looks like a lazy guess of about half £30bn.”

    The FT reported the basis for Carney’s comment to Cabinet as follows :-

    “However, according to the FT, Mr Carney also told ministers that if the PM succeeded in negotiating a deal similar to the Chequers plan – which envisages a free-trade area for goods and agriculture – there would be an economic bounce.

    The paper quotes a cabinet source as saying: “Carney said that we would recover three-quarters of the growth lost after the 2016 referendum because Chequers would imply more access to the European market than under current assumptions.”

    Mr Carney said the size of the economy reduced about 1% since the 2016 referendum and that after a good Brexit deal Britain could recover most of that lost output, amounting to £16bn.”

    Sky News.

  42. @DANNY
    @CROSSBAT11

    CROSSBAT11 ‘s thesis looks very much more plausible than DANNY’s it is one that I can buy but I think there is one thing that you missed out on. The EU. As I pointed out earlier this morning. The WA needs to settle the NI border issue and there is no agreement on that so the first step is having an agreement to bring back to parliament.

    As we have seemingly discussed ad nauseam, the obvious solution and the facts on the ground cannot be codified into an agreement so we don’t get past step one which have an agreement to take to parliament.

    I feel like some sort cassandra but no one has shown me a path to an agreement without someone breaking a red line that seems plausible. That is my problem, we seem to avoid the elephant in the room even though we are being squashed by it.

  43. @COLIN

    I think you will find it hard to get past TREVOR’s anti Hammond bias here, but thanks for facts on this do you still think that Hammonds austerity would win votes?
    Do you think that May would agree a border in the Irish sea, since I reckon that is the sticking point. A border somewhere.
    Oh and lastly do you believe a Chequers style deal will happen or a more minimalist deal?

  44. Good morning all from a breezy grey Central London.

    The Liberals are taking a pounding in Quebec Canada, much for the same reasons the EU is seeing a rise of the right.

    “Immigration and a renegotiated NAFTA deal with the US dominated the agenda of Monday’s elections in Canada’s mostly French-speaking province of Quebec”

    The center-right Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ), led by 61-year-old businessman Francois Legault, was declared the victor, Reuters reported.

    The business-friendly CAQ was ahead in 73 out of the 125 seats in the province’s legislature, with the Liberals trailing behind with just 32 seats.

    “During this 39-day campaign, CAQ party leader Francois Legault promised to take in 10,000 fewer immigrants a year and to deport those who fail tests on French and Quebec values within three years”

    “The CAQ’s victory would be a follow up to the recent shift to the right in Ontario where a progressive conservative government came to power in June, ending the Liberals’ longtime rule in the country’s most populous province”

  45. PTRP

    @” do you still think that Hammonds austerity would win votes?”

    I’m not sure what you mean by “Hammond’s” austerity.

    What I think is that the necessary fiscal tightening to eliminate an annual Deficit of 11% of GDP has brought the population to the end of its tolerance after a decade. Fortunately we are at a point where the Public Finances job is practically done.
    And so I think the thing which will “win votes” is recognition that Public Services of alltypes have been squeezed to the limit.
    Sadly I don’t believe that Hammond has the political antennae necessary to see this & act on it.

    @”Do you think that May would agree a border in the Irish sea,”

    I have no idea how the Irish Border issue will be resolved.

    @”do you believe a Chequers style deal will happen or a more minimalist deal”

    By “happen” I make the assumption you mean – accepted by EU. ( If you mean -pass through the HoC -I cannot comment-that is all opaque to me)
    I think there will be concessions by UK-The Times reports some this morning.
    But I think May will stick as closely as she can to it. CETA / EEA have been discounted by her too many times. The former because of the interests of cross channel industrial supply chains; the latter because it isn’t “Leave”.

  46. On the assumption that there will be no more September polls, I make the average for the month as

    Con 39.0 (+0.4)
    Lab 37.8 (-1.2)
    LD 9.9 (+1.5)
    UKIP 5.1 (-0.6)

    Changes from August average.

  47. @ PTRP – Could you define what you mean by “deal”. Is that:

    1/ Purely in relation to the WA?

    a/ Do we capitulate on NI and sign off £39bn+ for a “blind” Brexit
    b/ Do we somehow fudge it and kick the can beyond 29Mar’19?
    c/ Do we slim down the WA, agree an Association Agreement (AA) and pay-as-we-go for transition to 1Jan’21
    d/ Do we crash-out on 30Mar’19
    e/ Other scenario

    2/ Related to the future relationship

    a/ BrINO (CU+SM+ECJ + ongoing payments)
    b/ Fantasy land of Chuquers2, 3, or 4
    c/ FTA+ (I’m trying to stop using Canada)
    d/ “amicable” MFN WTO (ie with AA)
    e/ “acrimonious” MFN WTO (ie planes unable to fly, etc)

    I’d LIKE 1c followed by 2d with May on board and Hammond gone (I’d be OK with 2c simply as I doubt HMG has the ability to manage the rapid change). I’m aware this is unlikely at the moment.

    I think most people assume “no deal” is 1d followed by 2e

    Most other combinations are IMHO “bad deals”. 1a/b followed by 2a/b are certainly IMHO “very bad deals” and enough CON MPs and CON VI would agree to prevent those from happening now or via a GE

    The maths in HoC isn’t going to change ahead of a GE and there is no majority for any of the above combinations. EC are very unlikely to concede on anything remotely close to Chuquers2,3 or 4, they want BrINO and they think they can get it – Hammond is working for them!

    Therefore the reason to push FTA+ is largely political “posturing” into a snap GE (with the Hail Mary of May taking the carrot before it comes to that)

    IMHO:

    May+Chuquers2 = Corbyn
    Hammond = McDonnell

    May + FTA+ = chance CON win enough Leave MPs/voters
    New CoE = chance CON win enough anti-austerity MPs/voters (or at least make them consider abstain)

    It is a case of “least bad” scenarios since the Mayb0tch GE. Time is running out fast so we’ll know soon enough.
    If we do end up with the Marx bros then I’d rather that happens with them delivering 1a-2a rather than being able to blame CON for 1d-2e.

    McDonnell has said the bigger the mess the more radical he would be (ie he wants 1d-2e, he just wants to ensure voters blame CON for it!)

  48. @COLIN

    If we acknowledge the austerity mantra are we not at the half way point. Do we not need a series of surpluses counter cyclical and all that?

    The argument that austerity is over is interesting since one the one hand you have argued that it is not done yet (the speech regarding the risks to BoE) and the other it is coming to an end when we we would have not reached a surplus and there are more cuts in the pipeline.

    Is that not contradictory or is it politics playing with policy

  49. @ COLIN – from your Sky News / FT quote:

    “Mr Carney said the size of the economy reduced about 1% since the 2016 referendum”

    I’m fairly sure you can spot the error in that!

    Let’s assume it was sloppy wording/reporting and was meant to be “1% lower than the parallel universe where Remain won”
    (it’s also not clear if that is 1% less per annum or total, he has mentioned numbers more like 1.5%-2% total in the past. £30bn is my rough guess which is 1.5% total)

    Also:
    “after a good Brexit deal Britain could recover most of that lost output, amounting to £16bn”

    What is a “good Brexit deal”? Who is the judge of that?Which sector? When? Will BoE/HMG respond differently in different scenarios? Why is HMG doing nothing now?

    Carney is IMHO playing politician as usual. Note he uses words such as “good”, “could”, “most”. He is basically guessing and putting his political spin on it. If he is stepping outside of his remit then why not comment on what HMG could/should be doing now and in different scenarios?

    Hammond has the opposite issue. As CoE he should not be guessing or using other people’s guesses. He should be reacting and ensuring he puts a positive political spin on it. He can most certainly affect/effect the outcome – via negligence and incompetence he will certainly affect/effect the outcome.

    He did mutter a few words saying he had fiscal headroom to cope with no deal in his speech but through gritted teeth (IMHO)

    Hammond is trying to be Osborne2.0 and failing. At least Osborne the original had some political savvy:
    https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/economy/2018/10/philip-hammond-trying-emulate-george-osborne-who-never-really-existed

    Hammond = McDonnell

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