Opinium have a new poll in the Observer today (I think it’s the only poll in the Sunday papers, at least, it seems to be the only voting intention poll). Headline voting intentions are CON 41%, LAB 37%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 6%. Fieldwork was Thursday and Friday and the full tables are here. The four point lead echoes the YouGov poll that came out on Thursday, which had toplines of CON 41%, LAB 37%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 4% (tabs.

As well as their usual trackers, the Opinium poll also had some questions on the Brexit deal and what comes next. Asked how likely they think it is that there will be a “satisfactory” deal by March 2019, 26% think it is likely, 50% think it is unlikely. Satisfactory is, of course, in the eye of the beholder – some people presumably think there will be deal, but that it will be an “unsatisfactory” one, as the next question asked what people think is the most likely outcome – 30% expect us to leave with a deal next March, 33% to leave without a deal, 16% that we will not leave in March 2019.

The poll also asked what should happen next if there is no deal, or Parliament does not approve a deal. In the event of no deal at all, 14% think there should be a general election, 23% a new referendum, 13% an extension in order to continue negotiations, and 32% that Britain should just leave without a deal. In the event that a deal is struck, but Parliament rejects it, 12% think there should be a general election, 10% a deal vs no deal referendum, 20% a deal vs remain referendum, 14% that the government should return to negotiations, 25% that Britain should just leave without a deal.

1,211 Responses to “Opinium/Observer – CON 41, LAB 37, LDEM 8”

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  1. I expect events in Brussels and then in the House of Commons over the next few weeks will have some effect on these polls. Hypothetical scenarios then starting turning into actual ones and then public opinion may start to turn.

    Up to now, Brexit has been a figment of a thousand imaginations. Soon we’ll be dealing with some reality and, when that transpires, there will be some very disappointed and disillusioned people and politicians about.

    Phoney war declared over. Then the fall out. Days orf reckoning almost upon us.

  2. In the event that a deal is struck, but Parliament rejects it, 12% think there should be a general election, 10% a deal vs no deal referendum, 20% a deal vs remain referendum, 14% that the government should return to negotiations, 25% that Britain should just leave without a deal.

    So there is nothing like a consensus. If the most popular option is only supported by one quarter of the electorate, it’s trouble.

    I think only a GE can sort this out, or a second referendum.

  3. @trevor warne – “Did I miss Barroso actually acting on the trade surplus (current account surplus) issue back in 2013ish.”

    Yes you did.

    “Were they fined 0.1% of GDP and/or required to take remedial action (e.g. boost domestic demand)?”

    No they weren’t – because the investigations triggered found that they hadn’t broken any rules – they had just been very good at exporting and running a strong economy.

    The ‘rules’ as you describe them are anything but a prescriptive set of definitive rules that will lead to punishment if an economic metric is over a prescribed limit.

    I can imagine what you would be saying if the UK was running a healthy surplus because we were great at managing our economy, and then the EU fined us for being so good!

    Again, it’s a demonstration of a fundamental misunderstanding of what the EU is about and how it is managed.

  4. @cmj

    Would’ve been interesting if they’d presented those as a preferential list.

    There’s always going to be a spread of voters if you throw them 5 options.

  5. Oh dear-another Tory lead.

    I expect its a conspiracy by the Right Wing Press & Neo Fasc*st BBC.

    Just wait till reality bites & The Light dawns upon the Deluded Masses.

  6. @JamesB


    Most people won’t get what they wanted.

    Strong nose peg time.

    “I think only a GE can sort this out, or a second referendum”

    Two solutions to sort this out that only 12% (GE) and 10%/20% (Referendum) seem to want?

    I think the Queen should come up with something, write it out, and sign it into law. Boom.

  8. According to the FT as reported on Slugger’s site the deal was done.

    That was a quick Raab. But will parliament accept?

    “( The EU side ) is making special arrangements for Northern Ireland, whose economy could sit in the EU’s sphere of influence in order to avoid a hard border emerging with the Republic of Ireland. The precise terms of this “backstop” plan will be the main drama of the coming week. One senior EU diplomat said “we have what we need”, adding that even France seemed relaxed with the broad divorce terms. Attention is turning to choreography that will best help Mrs May. “We are happy to do everything we can to help her sell it,” the diplomat said.”

  9. Some opposition to “special status” for NI from Ruth and Fluffy.


    Scottish Secretary David Mundell and Scots Tory leader Ruth Davidson say they will not accept Northern Ireland being treated differently.

    In a letter to the prime minister, they said the integrity of the UK “remains the single most important issue for us” and cannot be undermined by any withdrawal agreement with the EU.

    “Having fought just four years ago to keep our country together, the integrity of our United Kingdom remains the single most important issue for us in these negotiations.

    “Any deal that delivers a differentiated settlement for Northern Ireland beyond the differences that already exist on an all Ireland basis (eg Agriculture), or can be brought under the provisions of the Belfast Agreement, would undermine the integrity of our UK internal market and this United Kingdom.”

    The letter adds: “We could not support any deal that creates a border of any kind in the Irish Sea and undermines the Union or leads to Northern Ireland having a different relationship with the EU than the rest of the UK, beyond what currently exists.”

    A source close to Ms Davidson said the issue was a “red line” for her, while a source close to Mr Mundell told the BBC: “If you find yourself not agreeing with government policy” resigning would be the “logical outcome”.”

  10. Apparently rumours of a deal are (depending on your source)
    (a) Deal in place and last minute posturing to show DUP, ERG et al that this is the best that can be got!
    (b) No deal and no means of getting one in sight.

    If the former then I foresee the end of the Government if the latter the end of the UK
    Private Fraser’s favourite phrase is apposite “we are all doomed”!

  11. @David Colby

    I think the Queen should come up with something, write it out, and sign it into law. Boom.

    She probably couldn’t do any worse.

  12. Sam;

    I can hardly see what Ruth Davidson would do to fulfil her “red line” if an EU deal did give NI a different status to mainland Britain.

    She isn`t in a position to make a stir by resigning from TM`s cabinet.

    And David Mundell is such a non-entity that TM could well be unmoved by him resigning.

  13. @ ALEC – “because the investigations triggered found that they hadn’t broken any rules”

    Investigations? More like brushing under carpet. FWIW they still mention it in the MIPs reports but target levels etc have been removed and it’s little more than an acceptance that Germany does what Germany wants.

    This stems from the great fudge of 2011 when they moved to a “scorecard” system once the Germany started breaking the only rule the Germans were strict one!

    As you say “Again, it’s a demonstration of a fundamental misunderstanding of what the EU is about and how it is managed.”

    We just disagree on what the “EU is about”, always have, always will.

    P.S. I do not want UK or anyone to pursue a policy of current account surpluses. Never a lender nor a borrow be is a good motto (cyclically adjusted, etc, obviously a bit of short-term variance is to be expected).

  14. Horrific wording from Opinium and offering a huge menu of options not helpful at all (V8 and V9)

    V4 is slightly more useful in that it asks simple clear questions

    EU should show more flexibility (versus less flexibility) – net +55 (CON VI net +76)
    UK side – net +16 (CON VI net -8)

    Obviously very n4ive to expect EU side to show more flexibility but once the “blame game” kicks in then portraying EC as inflexible ideologists will be useful!

    V10 – whose fault on problems that have arisen.

    EU 43
    Neither 24
    UK 32
    net 11 EU’s fault

    CON VI net 64 blaming EU!

    Personally I’d blame May but that makes me look like a Kipper!

  15. Die Welt reporting a Transition extension :-

    “The transition extension would almost certainly ensure that the Brussels backstop proposal, where Northern Ireland remains within the EU’s customs union and single market after Brexit, will never be enacted.”

  16. @Colin

    “Yeah-of course-just a bit of fun-when its someone else eh Batty ?”

    Oh, dear, your sausage becomes ever sillier. James E and I were playing around with the definition of the word “raab” as outlined in an Urban dictionary. The urban use of the word “raab”(not the person) seemed quite amusing in the sense that Raab the person (not the word) is negotiating Brexit on behalf of the deluded eh-ba-gum masses you often refer to (:-)). Of course if you are suggesting that we are referring to Raab the person, then you must indeed reveal more about him being someone who offers sexual favours in return for nothing. This of course is potentially slanderous and I would urge you to be very careful about bandying such accusations about without corroborating evidence. James E and I were totally unaware that Dominic Raab, the actual person, indulged in this behaviour.

    Accordingly, I urge nay demand, that you substantiate the claim that the real Mr Raab is actually someone who offers sexual favours and gets nothing in return.

    By the way, I know Margaret Thatcher repaired roofs in her time, and Jeremy Hunt marauds the countryside in pursuit of furry creatures, but I won’t go in to what Peter Bone does in his spare time!

    Keep smiling.


  17. To leave the fevered speculation on Brexit until something definite emerges, I want to comment again on the CAP and its regular evolution.

    Hireton on the last thread (4.06 pm) gave a link to a useful document produced in Northern Ireland that describes the CAP evolution from the 1960s onwards and which sets out the differences in the rules for our four polities that have operated in the recent past.


    However it`s quite long and hasn`t managed to get out all the facts correctly, partly to try to simplify.

    On setaside it says on page 2:

    “”Their solution was to introduce supply management measures. For example, milk quotas were introduced in 1984 and set-aside was introduced in 1992””

    But setaside started earlier, and In Scotland if not rUK a substantial amount of arable land was setaside by 1990. d I personally was studying the developing vegetation and publishing the results in 1991.

    What the NI document should have said was that setaside became compulsory for arable farmers in 1992, but had been introduced in 1988.

    from Wikipedia – “Commission Regulation (EEC) No 1272/88 of 29 April 1988 laying down detailed rules for applying the set-aside incentive scheme for arable land”. EUR-Lex. European Commission. 29 April 1988.””.

    I would add that there was much adverse comment in newspapers about featherbedded farmers getting £80 an hectare “for doing nothing” (that was the subsidy rate, if I remember accurately). The conservation benefits were either scorned or simply ignored.

    I contrast that attitude of 25-30 years ago with the much more realistic acceptance meantime of the importance of conservation values and wildness. These thoughts came up when last Saturday morning the Radio 4 Today programme gave 15-20 minutes of peak time to the Knepp Estate rewilding project.

    They had competent speakers and even John H was asking relevant and sensible questions, like the importance of corridors to connect areas rich in wildlife.

  18. @Colin

    “Oh dear-another Tory lead.

    I expect its a conspiracy by the Right Wing Press & Neo Fasc*st BBC.

    Just wait till reality bites & The Light dawns upon the Deluded Masses.”

    As I say, your sausage becomes ever sillier.

    Mr Angry rides again.


  19. Interesting take on matters from centre-right commentator Matthew D’Ancona. He still moves in high Tory circles and may know more about the internal wranglings in the party than most of us do


  20. CB11

    @”Keep smiling.”

    All the time old bean.-especially on good old UKPR :-).

    @”Mr Angry rides again.”

    Ah-did you see something addressed to , or for, you in that post ?

    And what makes you think it was an angry post Batty?

    Could it be that you have again ( and on the same day) consumed a large quantity of Umbridge?

    Relax old chap-the Revolution is near at hand.

    BBC Nationalised. ( Broadcasting By Corbyn)
    Brillo to The Tower.
    Daily Mail Presses burned in May Day Square-where Nelson used to be.

    Your Cup & Pants will runneth over . :-)

  21. Paddy Power/Red C poll in RoI.

    Almost two thirds (61%) of Irish people would like to see Irish unification on the back of Brexit negotiations.

    While just a quarter of the population (26%) believe that the Good Friday agreement should be altered to accommodate Theresa May’s Brexit negotiations.

    Almost half of those polled believe that Brexit will result in a ‘hard’ border (47%), as Britain’s deadline to leave the EU looms.


  22. Barnier says that there are still problems to be resolved includinging NI/IE border so firstly it is not just the border that is of issue. I suspect there is a issue of the final sum as well. The UK has sold the idea that the figure was fixed and yet the EU pointedly said that it was the method that was fixed not the amount.

    With regards to Ed Miliband:

    I think this was a case of character assassination and pushing policies which three years later no seem the norm, think of these phrases and the reaction of the media to them:

    1. Squeezed middle/JAM

    2. Predatory capitalism

    3 price caps/limits on utilities

    As I remember it when Ed Miliband talked of all of these he was sold as a marxist indeed his moniker in the press was Red Ed.

    Today had he said exactly the same things he would be a leading light in the Tory party he wouldnot be a marxist and I am sure his Dad would not have been known as the ma who hated Britain

    he was not a deer in the headlights, he had decent policies but people did not believe them. there is in my view a two year lag between the idea being put to the public and the public understanding it. Look at many policies from the NMW, NHS were called marxist/socialist/communist but less than a decade later we don’t see them as left wing or right wing we see them as normal.

    We sold austerity as normal until someone said it was not , That was Miliband problem he wanted to say that austerity was bad not normal and basically bottled it. Funnily enough his failure to do thta brought in Corbyn. Someone who no matter what you think of him decided that austerity was over and said that was his aim.

    Miliband/Balls ended up losing because of two things English votes in the South West not wanting ‘uppity’ Scots having any say in Government and more over a belief that austerity was not that bad. as barnwell said after he lost his seat. I was expecting people talking about brexit but they were talking about austerity

    I believe in two years time we will have a situation whereby either brexit looks like a real winner or a real loser

  23. Raab C Nesbitt offers philosophical criticism of the Brexit negotiations undertaken by the Tory party. It is somewhat superior to that of Matthew D’Ancona who was never, I believe, a bus inspector.


  24. Colin

    Considering birds, bees and alike I would have thought you would be happy with the performance of the Greens in Bavaria – rather than making the loss of the absolute majority of CSU who joined in with the AfD’s slogan of shoot them all, the point.

    Yes, it’s a wee bit uncomfortable to Merkel, but much more so for her deputy.

    There is also polarisation. I went through the placards of the demo in Berlin (isn’t Internet great). Most of them were not leftist. I don’t say that those demonstrators represented any majority, just that they expressed my view (unintentionally, of course) that the question right now is not left or right, just the decision between the successors of the Enlightenment and the enemies of Reason (fascist and their debris), just as in the UK.

  25. @Davwel

    From what I understand, set aside was a response to massive subsidised overproduction and a market stabilisation measure.

  26. This poll bears out my opinion that Labour is insane not to have Kier Starmer as leader. I am convinced they would thrash the Tories in a GE in that case, especially an unplanned election in the next 6-12 months with TM still at the helm.

  27. I see “Wee Burney” was “tub thumping” at the SNP conference. She said “”62% of Scots had voted remain” and added “we are months away from being taken out of the EU against our will. That cannot be right”.

    Well YES IT CAN, as the referendum was a vote of the whole UK and the UK as a whole voted 52% to 48 % to leave. Scotland is just a part of the UK, like Wales, England and Northern Ireland. I have nothing but contempt for the arrogance of the SNP and its followers who think that they can dictate to the people of the UK. The SNP and its supporters often call the English arrogant but they “trump” the English every time in the arrogance stakes IMO.

    I would suggest the SNP might spend more time on straightforward issues like getting the new flu vaccine. I gather large numbers of over 65’s in Scotland are likely to miss out as the NHS in Scotland left it too late to order enough vaccine. Here in England my wife and I have both had our jabs for this year.

  28. The SNP conference came to an end and appeared to have been successful as were the Tory and labour conferences. However, I noted the following comments from Prof Curtice:

    “Prof Curtice said some SNP supporters had taken encouragement from recent polls.
    But he said that if you take all the polls on independence it did not appear there had been any change from the 55%-45% result of the 2014 vote.
    And he said the evidence suggests that Brexit has so far made little difference to the level of support for independence.”
    The latest poll seems to support Prof Curtice:
    Yes: 41% (-) No: 52% (-1) via @Panelbase, 28 Sep – 04 Oct Changes. w/ 13 Jun

    Keep the heid!

    Whit’s fur ye’ll no go by ye!

  29. “The Bank of England financial policy committee issued a statement on Tuesday outlining that it’s banks and financial systems were ready for all the worst-case scenarios related to Brexit. But on the other hand, it was concerned about how the European Union would cope if politicians on both sides are unable to reach a final Brexit deal.” (Yahoo Finance)

    The bank appears to feel that the EU are ill prepared. Well, well some good news from the Bank of England at last!

  30. I see Corbyn wants to change our teaching of history to include focus on the evils of our Empire. I would suggest the evils brought about by Marxism would be a better topic. They make any evils of the Empire look like child’s play in comparison.

  31. Delighted to see the following in BBC news on Wednesday:
    “The Christian owners of a Northern Ireland bakery have won their appeal in the so-called “gay cake” discrimination case.
    The UK’s highest court ruled that Ashers bakery’s refusal to make a cake with a slogan supporting same-sex marriage was not discriminatory.
    The five justices on the Supreme Court were unanimous in their judgement.
    The high-profile dispute began in 2014 when the bakery refused to make a cake with the slogan “Support Gay Marriage”.

    I never thought it was discriminatory.

  32. On Friday BBC reporting:
    “The prime minister would “never agree” to a permanent customs union with the EU, amid concern from ministers about Brexit compromises, No.10 says.
    They are thought to fear that Theresa May will agree to such a move, if a trade deal cannot be done in time.”

    It looks to me as if May is trying to produce a fudge that would keep us in the customs union. This would eliminate one of her red lines and would not be a proper Brexit. The cabinet need to put her right and resign en masse if necessary. Thank goodness, I would expect any such silly deal to be voted down in the commons anyway. I must say it continues to amaze me that anybody, politician or otherwise, would want to stay close to an EU which is inward looking, protectionist and clearly failing over time. For those wanting yet another example of how undemocratic the EU is just look at the latest ECJ vote on MEP’s expenses reported this week.

  33. Good to see this reported on Friday:

    “The first fracking in the UK for seven years will start on Saturday, the shale gas company Cuadrilla has confirmed, after campaigners lost a last-minute legal challenge to block the operations.”

    No doubt there will be screams from the misguided environmental and climate change fanatics, but of course climate change is not the biggest problem facing the World, it is is just a reflection of unsustainable population growth which really is the big issue and little seems to be happening to deal with that.

  34. I notice that the Open Europe think tank has released a new analysis stating that the economic impact of a “no deal“ Brexit over the next 13 years would be small. The annual drag could be as low as 0.04% per annum if the Government took maximum steps to reduce tariffs on global trade and boost trade in services. Open Europe found that the costs of “no deal” are much milder than has been assumed by some.

    Brexit -with or without a deal is, is very unlikely to be the determining factor for our economic growth. Of course, like all other forecasts this could be wrong and my own thinking is somewhat more positive than this, but so much for Project Fear.

  35. Polls rather up and down this week but the latest Opinium poll supports the last YouGov with a 4% Tory lead. My own view remains that the Tories have a steady 2-3% lead, and have done since the end of August. Some very odd locals in the week Labour gaining one seat from UKIP and losing two to independents.

  36. Looks as though there will be no deal in October as the DUP makes it clear that fudging on the relationship between the rUK and NI to get a deal with the EU is not on. and the PM seems to back off. Pleased to note today that Ruth Davidson and Scottish Tories are taking the same line. I have thought for a long time now that to get a proper Brexit we need a hard border with Eire. I note the DUP seems to agree with my view that leaving on WTO terms remains the most likely outcome.

  37. @Turk,

    Could you ask your old mate Colin (and no, please don’t look up what that name means in the Urban dictionary) to leave me alone. He’s cyber-bullying me and I think I have no recourse now but to talk to him via a third party. I think he’s becoming a little deranged. I get the impression he listens to you, so could you ask him to calm down a bit and get back to his slightly less offensive behaviour of being the unwitting UKPR mouthpiece for Guido Fawkes. There’s a good man and, by the way, I hope your allotment in Texas is doing well.



    Those 8 consecutive and uninterrupted posts felt like the hammer blows of 8 large nails being driven into UKPR’s coffin.

  38. ToH

    Your comment about the Scotland EU vote is quite ridiculous and wrong, and you are clearly just here to provoke anger.

    The four votes in each polity were put through the HoC in the Referendum bill, and David Cameron and his ministers promised to respect them, which you know perfectly well.

    What you don`t know is the literature and broadcasts about the referendum that were received by people in Scotland.

    Yet you are so arrogant that you invent them in your mind.

  39. @davwel

    Best to ignore our allotment troll!

  40. Contrary to the general reporting, it is the third time that the CSU would have to share power in Bavaria since WW2 (but those other two were very long time ago).

    So, we have the CSU at 37%, right liberals (two parties) at around 16%, Greens at around 19, the fascists at around 11%, and the socdems less than 10%.

  41. DAVWEL

    It was UK wide poll and the result covers the whole of the UK. What don’t you understand about that?


    If you don’t like facts then I agree ignore my posts. I am certainly not a troll by any of the usual definitions.

  42. Laszlo

    I don’t really know anything about the German Greens. But if they are anything like the UK Greens, then sadly , what you characterise as “birds bees & alike” are the last thing on their list of fruitcake policies.

    I do think the schisms in German Politics are fascinating though.

  43. Crossbath

    Over the least few years I have read and agreed with most of Colin’s comments, I find him a fair minded individual willing to contribute to this sight with usually well researched observations.
    The fact this brings him into disagreement with other posters with different views is par for the course on a political site such as this.
    What is odd is people find it acceptable to result to childish mockery because an opinion is expressed that they don’t agree with. Perhaps it says more about there rather limited views than those of the more seasoned posters on this sight like Colin who accept the political differences expressed and add there own comments to show a different view point.
    At the end of the day that is what sets this sight apart from others is people putting forward sensible arguments and reading equally sensible rebuffs not childish nit picking or facile attempts at humour.

  44. TOH
    You’ve been busy tonight! I note this from one of your posts

    ‘On Friday BBC reporting:
    “The prime minister would “never agree” to a permanent customs union with the EU, amid concern from ministers about Brexit compromises, No.10 says.’

    I think the weasel word here is ‘permanent’. I suspect we will end up with a ‘temporary’ CU with no defined end date.
    “I have thought for a long time now that to get a proper Brexit we need a hard border with Eire.”

    They can have one on their side if they want to, as I believe Raab has suggested. We needn’t bother.

    On the poll – I think current polls are interesting in that they show a base position before the proverbial hits the fan when a deal is announced. I can see the polls swinging wildly in almost any direction whatever is agreed! For instance, a No Deal would probably finish UKIP and cement the majority of their voters into the Tory fold. On the other hand Remainer Tories might defect to LibDem or even Labour if they can persuade themselves that the LAB position makes any sense. What the net result would be is anybody’s guess. Similar effects would happen with any other kind of result to the negotiations.

  45. Turk
    Well said, even though I’m occasionally guilty of facile attempts at humour myself. (not malicious though).

  46. ToH is simply denying what Hansard reported on the Tory government`s statements during the debate on the referendum bill, and moreover what people were told about the referendum “being advisory”. Were this not true, the legislation would have been different.

    It`s a special sort of arrogance to know better than Hansard.

    That everybody in the UK voted does not affect the existence of four democratic results, which were deliberately intended to be obtained from the voting in order to guide the government`s reaction, and the devolved polities` governments` reactions, to the referendum.

    That the results were contradictory means that all parties have to compromise. Sadly Theresa May has so far shown no signs of compromising between views across the UK. And it`s folk like Howard who feel they have a special right to ignore democratic voting who are pushing TM into this obstinate stance.

  47. @Pete B – When the proverbial hits the fan I can almost hear Mike Reid’s voice bellowing “Runarraahnd Naahhh”

  48. Davwel

    That TOH is ignorant of many things goes without saying, Of course, we are all ignorant of many things, but most of us have more sense than to pontificate on them.

    Had he read the Scottish Government’s Brexit policy paper, he would have known better, but he clearly didn’t.

    A new version “Scotland’s Place In Europe: Our Way Forward” will be published tomorrow, which might be interesting.

    I’m presuming that, on the basis that the UK Government has ignored every other submission from Holyrood, that the Scottish Government assumes that the UK Cabinet will also ignore this one. It seems safe, therefore, to assume that it is primarily intended for domestic consumption.

    There are other ways forward than the UKanian or British or English nationalist models currently being pursued by those breeds.

    Any of them could have chosen to incorporate an internationalist dimension by valuing EU membership – and those remain minority views within those forms of nationalism.

    That they are a minority seems to doom all of them into a self-destructive mode – which is sad, but dragging everyone else down with them is even sadder.

  49. @Turk

    “Over the least few years I have read and agreed with most of Colin’s comments, I find him a fair minded individual willing to contribute to this sight with usually well researched observations.”

    What sight are you talking about here? Four sight or hynde sight?

    Personally, I find UKPR a site for saw eyes. Especially at this time of night when I’ve had few!


    More facile humour to come tomorrow (with a bit of the usual hypocrisy and lack of self awareness, of course.)


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