A brief note about the Survation poll in today’s Mail. A lot of responses to this have really got the wrong end of the stick – the Daily Mail have, quite obviously, written it up with a very pro-deal slant and have not focused upon elements of the poll showing support for no-deal or for a fresh referendum. Nevertheless, the core of the story – that more people said they wanted MPs to vote to support the deal than wanted MPs to reject it – is quite correct.

Firstly, lets us address social media claims that the poll actually showed opposition to the deal and that the Mail has lied about it. This is untrue. What actually happened is that when the Daily Mail front page was published yesterday Survation has not yet put up the full tables, so people looking for the full results on Survation’s website stumbled upon their previous poll for the Daily Mail, which had shown people opposed the deal. Today’s poll is different – and that’s the point of the Mail’s splash – the poll suggests public opinion has changed.

The two polls asked identical questions about support for the deal (so there’s no jiggery-pokery, so changing the wording – it’s a straight comparison).

Survation’s poll conducted on November 15th found that 61% of people had heard about the deal and of those people 27% supported it, 49% opposed it. The full tables for that poll are here (the chart that lots of people were posting on social media this morning was from this poll)

Survation’s new poll conducted on November 27th asked the same questions, and found 72% had now heard about the deal. Of those people 37% supported the deal (up 10), 35% opposed the deal (down 14). The full tables for that poll are here (Wednesday’s Daily Mail story is about this poll)

In the next question Survation asked how people wanted MPs to vote on the deal. 41% said they would like MPs to vote for the deal, 38% would like MPs to vote against the deal.

So far, so good. The poll shows a sharp increase in support for the deal since it was first announced – a fortnight ago the public were opposed by nearly 2-to-1, now it is pretty much neck-and-neck. While this is only a single poll and one shouldn’t read too much into it until there is other polling evidence to back it up, it does appear to be a very clear shift.

However, before one concludes that the public are now leaning in favour of the deal, it’s also worth looking at the other questions in the poll. The poll also repeated questions asking how people would vote in some hypothetical referendums. These suggests that people continue to prefer remaining in the EU to the deal (Remain 46%(+3), Leave with the deal 37%(+3)) and that in a choice between the deal or leaving without one, they’d go for no deal (No deal 41%(+7), deal 35%(+3)).

This leaves us in a bit of a quandary. People narrowly approve of the deal and think MPs should approve it… but they also prefer both of the two obvious alternatives to the deal. For the record, the poll also finds people in favour of a new referendum on the deal by 48% to 34%. It is hard to resist the conclusion that the public are as unclear as the political classes about their preferred way forward.


2,428 Responses to “Does Survation show the public warming towards the Brexit deal?”

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  1. YG London Poil, changes from 3mths ago

    CON 33 (+7) !?!?
    LAB 49 (+1)
    LDEM 11 (-4) !?!?

    Green 3 (-2)
    UKIP 3 (-1)

    Fieldwork 3-6 Dec (ie a lifetime ago!)

    ABL vote moving to CON? Not sure what LDEM+Green have done to lose VI?

    Good news for Sadiq Khan in there
    Approval +11 (+7)

    Lots of DK in the 2020 Mayor election but he’s ahead of CON in the full pack although that narrows significantly in a two horse race (but huge DK)

    https://yougov.co.uk/topics/politics/survey-results

  2. Scully on VI in the latest Welsh poll

    http://blogs.cardiff.ac.uk/electionsinwales/2018/12/11/the-december-barometer-poll-voting-intentions/

    But little has changed in the last year. Voting intention appears to be in something close to suspended animation – waiting for something to happen with regards to Brexit.

  3. Froma conservative greek paper (with respects to the guardian)

    We Greeks are watching the unfolding of a situation which is somewhat paradoxical … we have seen how a country can enter a precarious phase when its establishment flounders and makes huge mistakes.

    The difference between Greece and Britain? Basically, it is that we, as southern Europeans, are good at political acrobatics.

    @TREVOR WARNE

    I suspect that we are crashing out, I suspect we will end up with a deal that looks like May’s deal but worse, The difference will be that a hard brexiteer will have delivered it. COLIN will approve of it because he is a Tory, you will say again if “I had a time machine” and I’ll be shaking my head and obvious voting for the Shy Tory Party so it is all good.

    ;-)

    It is interesting what the Greeks are saying.

  4. @TREVOR WARNE

    Corbyn was not popular his policies are even you claim to be a CorbynLite. So again I suspect you are a shy Labour supporter. The problem is Corbyn is a marxist, immigrant and tree hugging vegetarian, anti semitic terrorist sympathiser COLIN says it is so. It has to be true.

    So no white anglo saxon british person could passibly follow him and if you did well you are well misguided,deluded and naive.

    remember there is no magic money tree again another COLINism

  5. @TREVOR WARNE

    Corbyn was not popular his policies are even you claim to be a CorbynLite. So again I suspect you are a shy Labour supporter. The problem is Corbyn is a marxist, immigrant and tree hugging vegetarian, anti semitic terrorist sympathiser COLIN says it is so. It has to be true.

    So no white Anglo Saxon British person could possibly follow him and if you did well you are well misguided,deluded and naive.

    remember there is no magic money tree again another COLINism

  6. @LEFTIELIBERAL
    “The AV referendum was binding.”

    That was an example of my point it doesn’t contradict it.

    The AV referndum was binding because Parliament passed the primary AV legislation (the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011) in advance of the rerefendum and made its coming into force contingent on the refrerendum result.

  7. It might be more structly accurate to say the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011 included the primary AV legislation and made its coming into force automatic.

    But that’s the point. Parliament can oblige a minister to bring legsuilation into force on a future contingency. It can’t oblige itself to legislate on a future contingency.

  8. R&D

    re your 2.47

    Thanks-it would certainly be a more appealing prospect than the warring factions which currently call themselves a Political Party.

  9. @TW I agree that if a hard Brexit politician became leader of the conservatives most of their mps would stay. To me, however, last nights secret ballot (I think payroll a red herring) suggests that most Con MPs do not want this and enough of them feel strongly enough about it to vote against it.

    Logically if you think that the country is behind a hard Brexit (ok clean Brexit) you should test your belief in a second referendum. Practically your most likely route to success is that a combination of May’s brinkmanship, ERC intransigence and Labour’s indecision will lead to a hard Brexit by default. That, however, is not a route to a united country.

    @Leftie Liberal – We are in an odd situation where the questions, their ordering and the methods of calculating the result could all have a massive effect on who wins a second referendum. This is because May’s deal is almost nobody’s first choice and almost everybody’s second one.

    In my view the fair way of doing things is to give remain a chance of winning in the first round if it gets 50 per cent or more of the vote. I would like to see your way of doing things since I think that remain would probably win. The best way to ensure that remain wins is to have three options with first past the post the winner, On that method remain wins in an estimated 600 constituencies, leave in 30 and May in none.

  10. Oops!

    Looks like Tory MEPs may have been a little careless as to how they spent a few (well half a million +) euros.

    https://amp.theguardian.com/politics/2018/dec/13/daniel-hannan-mep-group-told-to-repay-half-a-million-in-eu-funds

  11. TURK

    @”As she is committed to no further in/out referendum on brexit ,this does not preclude her from holding a referendum on her deal or no deal , it looks highly likely the HOC will ever agree on a resolution to the brexit debate this could be the only way for her to break the deadlock without compromising the original brexit vote.”

    I certainly agree that if -as seems likely-MPs vote the WA down then she should put it to THe People. But she needs a majority I presume, to get that, and the Ref2 Group will want Remain on the Ballot Paper.

    To me there is a logic to restricting options to those currently available to enact by UK Parliament ,, without consultation/negotiation with a third party & further legislation in HoC.

    As I perceive it those would be ” Accept the WA already ratified by the EU” or ” REvoke A50 unilaterally & Remain”.

    So clearly that would involve a u turn for her personally. But it is the obvious next step after deadlock in HoC.

    I think there is a superficial attraction to debating the other Leave Options which have been floated-say EEA membership & Managed No Deal, ; but then they will get bogged down ijn trying to define what they actually mean & involve. And anyway the first isn’t on offer & the second begs so many questions about the things which will or will not ( can or cannnot ) be “managed ” by agreement with EU that such debate would be meaningless.
    Similarly with whatever Labour’s Plan involve.

    So for me her way out of this is to ask the People-do you want to Leave on the terms offered or use our legal right to change our minds & stay.

    This would shoot Labour foxes & drive ERG nuts-all good. For DUP , id Ref2 was Yes to WA-what are they gonna do then ?

  12. Charles

    “That, however, is not a route to a united country.”

    Yes it is. A united Ireland, a united Scotland, but maybe not a united E&W.

  13. Watched Ch4 news interviewing passing heads of state in Brussels. They universally said no renegotiation is possible.

    May agreed the backstop a year ago, yet has been endlessly seeking to renegotiate ever since. The EU position was if she could come up with a workable idea, then fine. She hasnt. The EU position now is time is up.

    This is blindingly obvious. So why is May not getting on with it and presenting the deal to parliament to debate and vote on? She is patently putting self interest before the interest of the nation to sort this out. It has become ridiculous.

  14. Colin

    To me there is a logic to restricting options to those currently available to enact by UK Parliament ,, without consultation/negotiation with a third party & further legislation in HoC.
    As I perceive it those would be ” Accept the WA already ratified by the EU” or ” Revoke A50 unilaterally & Remain”.

    That is eminently sensible.

    All previous UK wide referendums (other than the badly worded Cameron one) have asked he electorate to endorse a policy proposed by, and within the competence of the UK Parliament.

    The various options for future relations with neighbouring states all rely on the outcome of negotiations with them, so unrealistic “cakeist” preferences to the status quo are likely to dominate.

    There have to be realistic alternatives for the electorate to choose between. The EU has made it clear that this Withdrawal Agreement is as far as they will go, and accepting it is UK Government policy.

    If a majority of MPs voted to include “No Deal” as an option (the only other option that is wholly within its power to deliver), Parliament would be grossly irresponsible.

  15. Andrew Lilico, apparently one of the economic masterminds behind the Leave campaign, has tweeted this regarding opnion polls in the EU referendum:

    https://twitter.com/andrew_lilico/status/1073200950272294912?s=19

    Not sure I have adequate words to comment on it.

  16. Hireton

    I imagine that we all have a long list of appropriate words for that observation by Lilico. We may use them on other forums.

  17. @Colin

    “So for me her way out of this is to ask the People-do you want to Leave on the terms offered or use our legal right to change our minds & stay.

    So, in effect, you’re suggesting that May runs a second Leave/Remain binary choice referendum. How on earth could she square that with her implacable and oft stated disavowal of such a thing, claiming repeatedly that this would be a betrayal of the 2016 referendum result and an affront to democracy? I know she is a little flaky on “solemn pledges” to the electorate, but this would be a volte face to far, even for her, wouldn’t it? I know her credibility is now shot to pieces, but not even May could countenance this degree of bare faced hypocrisy, could she? I know Brexit has poisoned our political well to such an extent that our politicians have indulged in abject and craven shamelessness but, please God, that a Prime Minister could stoop this low.

    “This would shoot Labour foxes & drive ERG nuts-all good. For DUP , id Ref2 was Yes to WA-what are they gonna do then ?”

    Oh dear, I fear that the quest for narrow party political advantage is leading you up blind allies here.When you say “drive ERG nuts”, your are understating things a little, I think. About a quarter of the current parliamentary party will break away if May turns turtle and goes for a second referendum. Labour foxes being ritually shot will be as of nothing in comparison to the initiation of civil war in the Tory Party. Remember that the ERG are pretty representative of most of the Tory Party membership and core vote too. They only really stick out like sore thumbs in the Commons. Elsewhere in Toryland they look pretty much on message and mainstream to me. Therein lies the party’s existential dilemma.

  18. Crossbat11,
    ” How on earth could she square that with her implacable and oft stated disavowal of such a thing”

    Do you mean like how she explained the snap election she had sworn not to have?

    May is a terrier. You set her onto something and she just goes and goes and goes. Then switch her onto something else, and off she will go again.

  19. Warring factions are not unusual, but it can be disguised by a sizeable enough majority that can keep them in check. Absent of that, they can become more prominent, as Major and Theresa have found. A spell in opposition can really bring them out though, as Labour found with the SDP and more recently once Corbyn took over.

  20. “Remember that the ERG are pretty representative of most of the Tory Party membership and core vote too. They only really stick out like sore thumbs in the Commons. Elsewhere in Toryland they look pretty much on message and mainstream to me. Therein lies the party’s existential dilemma.“

    ———

    Might Labour have a similar problem, a fair few MPs out of step with the membership? And even out of step with quite a few of the voters.

  21. Struggling to find the right words for that Lilico tweet. That is to say, I have several, but none of greater than 4 letters.

  22. Carfew,

    “Might Labour have a similar problem!”

    All Parties have it. As a Councillor in the Highlands I constantly watched LibDems call for “Localism” and then when given the chance freeze when they realised it meant making the tough unpopular decisions previously made by others.

    As activists who had joined and been enthused to become Councillors by the idea of “Real Localism!” believing that it would mean Local Politicians making popular decisions that local people wanted they were floored when asked to make unpopular choices that pleased nobody.

    As for the SNP it was a battle, often with close friends at Branch level, against “The Culloden Syndrome!”, the uncontrollable desire to charge at the Enemy even when the odds are against us.

    Most members I know would back having another Indyref if the polls were showing Yes at 30% and the they’d still think we’d win!

    Peter.

  23. CB11

    Jo Maugham has outlined the face saving strategy –

    “She starts by telling the House of Commons that she’s listened and has done everything possible to deliver the best possible deal but is now forced to accept that she has to compromise in order to get the Withdrawal Agreement past the House.
    She says she is personally determined to honour the result of the 2016 referendum. But to get the WA through parliament she will introduce legislation for a referendum on her deal which will take place before the Withdrawal Agreement enters into force”.

    Having totally reversed her position on No Deal and Bad Deal, allowing the Great British People in Our Precious Union that they should have a chance to reaffirm their determination to Reach the Sunlit Uplands, is but a small step.

  24. OLDNAT

    I agree that Parliament must ultimately take ownership of the realistic options, even if they then ask us to choose in a second referendum.

    No deal must be ruled out by Parliament unless they are prepared to abdicate their responsibility again. They will not vote for no deal.

    I still expect that we will eventually have to choose between a soft Brexit( TM deal with a modification re hard border) or remain in the EU.

  25. I originally posted that I thought threatening the headbangers with a referendum would be enough to get the Withdrawal Agreement approved. I now think this probably won’t work, so a referendum it will have to be, and logically this can only be between approving the agreement and withdrawing article 50. A referendum would get opposition support, so couldn’t be stopped. As to the result of such a referendum I wouldn’t like to say, nor would I care to predict who the next Conservative leader might be.

    However the whole process requires the agreement to be voted down first, and for a vote of no confidence to fail.

  26. @Charles/leftiliberal

    Really not keen on a 2nd ref myself but I must admit I agree that it’ll be the only way out as neither parliament nor the gov is willing to lead on this issue.

    That said, if there are three options, a two stage ref can never be fair as you’re always presuming an outcome. The only fair methods are either IRV/AV style or condorcet.

    As for who would win, that’s interesting, just looking at yougov alone, their two smaller polls where they’ve asked this, one a while back, one just last weekend. Remain took both methods with some margin, particularly this week where it cleared the first round with 54%. The larger 20,000 sample though they took for the MRP study was far more finely balanced. Remain does actually shade it in both methods but it’s to 10th of %. The MRP question did force a full ranking which may partly explain the difference.

    Also, as the MRP report notes, NI isn’t included which potentially shoves the national result another % to remain.

  27. Jo Maugham’s strategy is interesting but rather depends on how you interpret “failing that”.

    While I could certainly accept an interpretation that Article 50(3) would probably allow a withdrawal agreement that had been concluded within the two years to set a withdrawal date beyond it, I think it is dubious to suggest that a withdrawal agreement that had not been concluded at the two year point (which it would not have been if the Uk hadn’t agreed it pending a referendum) could retrospectively become effective.

    It seems to me that the “failing that” condition is met and the alternative must come into play at the two year point, beacuse at the two year point there is no agreement, referendum pending or not.

    The CJEU might have to get busy again.

  28. Peter W

    I’m certainly not going to argue points of law with Maugham or you!

  29. Peter W

    But the putative political response from May might be –

    “Due to the appalling basis on which the EU operates (viz not allowing governments the freedom to make up the rules as they go along) I have reluctantly acceded to their demand that they be allowed to label my eminently reasonable proposition to be labelled as an ‘extension to A50’.

    I have done so because, as I have made very clear, I would never ask for such a thing, but it is required to allow the Great British People in Our Precious Union to have a chance to reaffirm their determination to Reach the Sunlit Uplands”

  30. CB11

    @” How on earth could she square that with her implacable and oft stated disavowal of such a thing,”

    Umm-dunno-her problem………..Say “MPs can’t decide -so you will have to & I have to change my mind” ???-something like that?

    Is a U turn ever a problem for any politician ???

    @” About a quarter of the current parliamentary party will break away if May turns turtle and goes for a second referendum”

    Not sure about that actually. But if they do-they weren’t really in the Conservative Party were they?

    @” Labour foxes being ritually shot will be as of nothing in comparison to the initiation of civil war in the Tory Party.”

    Yes-I guess so. Two Foxes shot then eh?-at least it would clear the air & we would know where we were .

  31. CB11

    @” I fear that the quest for narrow party political advantage is leading you up blind allies here”

    A different one to Corbyn’s …….or the same one ?

  32. CB11

    Is “blind allies” a new term for the DUP?

  33. OLDNAT

    Damn-missed that one. :-)

  34. I’m surprised that on this polling site, no one ran the numbers on Lillico’s rather poor taste tweet @Hireton posted earlier.

    Lillico said: “It’s impossible to avoid the thought that that 4-6% margin that the murder of Jo Cox cost the Leave vote in 2016 has had a profound impact on politics. (Leave was 10% ahead & rising, before her horrific murder.) One of the most influential assassinations in British history.”

    Jo Cox was murdered on 16th June 2016. In the polls from the 12th up to and including the 16th, the remain lead/loss was as follows;
    12th – 2 polls, +6/+6
    13th – 5 polls -8/+2/-6/-6/-8
    14th – 1 poll -6
    15th – 3 polls -10/+6/-4
    16th – 1 poll -2
    17th – 2 polls level/+2
    18th – 1 poll +4
    19th – 2 polls +8/-2
    20th – 1 poll +2

    While Lillico’s comments are crass, the numbers do suggest, superficially at least, that around the 16th there was a turning point, although this is by no means clear. This isn’t quite so unreasonable to imagine, but there are some points to be made:

    – YouGov showed a sharp reduction in the leave lead and a remain lead on a poll published after the 16th but with field work pre dating the murder, suggesting the movement was underway already
    – The leave lead wasn’t ‘10% and rising’ – a single poll had leave ten points up, with one on the same day having remain 6% up.

    I think the moral is, as ever, if you want to talk about polls, read the UKPR archives first before making an arse of yourself.

  35. For Colin and others interested in wilding and less-intensive range management:

    Tonight`s BBC 4 documentary on the intelligence of farm animals had a segment midway through the 60 minutes about a cattle herd on the Knepp Estate.

    The state of the grassland range looked excellent to me, and hopefully can be achieved elsewhere. I do acknowledge, though, that this isn`t a universal solution, since tourism helps make up the loss of profit resulting from the lighter grazing pressure.

    And I can`t resist a little aside that the empathy and intelligence shown by some of the featured farm animals exceeds that shown by some members of the HoC, IMHO.

  36. @James B and others

    Absolutely no way a second referendum solves anything at all. It will just entrench current positions.

    A no deal exit now looks much more likely, but a rapid move to a negotiated settlement.

    Things will close though on the WA in the HoC, it may still pass.

    However, I was surprised by the scale of I’ll feeling towards Theresa May in her own party.

  37. “Absolutely no way a second referendum solves anything at all.”

    Except that we can then remain in the EU if that’s what is decided – which is frankly the only sane way forward.

  38. NickP,

    “the only sane way forward.”

    What’s that got to do with Brexit!

    Peter.

  39. @oldnat Yes it is. A united Ireland, a united Scotland, but maybe not a united E&W.

    I am not sure that NI can be called united or that Ireland would be if it subsumed it. My memory of the independence vote in Scotland was that there were pretty massive differences in how the indy vote went in different parts of that as well.

    Fundamentally we all need to get better at tolerating diversity, allowing subsidiarity, and pooling sovereignty when necessary. Wow – there are some long impressive words.I didn’t know I knew.

  40. Charles

    I didn’t say NI would be united, but that the island would. With a No Deal, latest polling suggests 59% in Scotland see independence as being preferable.

    As to your “we all need to get better at tolerating diversity, allowing subsidiarity, and pooling sovereignty when necessary”- that has been the stance of a majority of Scots, and those in the EU27 for a long time, so perhaps time for the old Lone Ranger joke. “What do you mean ‘we’, paleface?”

    Today’s SC judgment confirmed what many of us already knew, that the UK’s concept of subsidiarity means removing powers (24+ in this case) from the devolved administrations whenever it suits the UK Government to do so.

    The EU is based around the concept of pooling sovereignty. The UK is based around concentrating it in a single place.

  41. Alec –

    I’m surprised that on this polling site, no one ran the numbers on Lillico’s rather poor taste tweet @Hireton posted earlier

    I think contributors did not wish to dignify Lillico’s tweet by analyzing

  42. Sir Ivan Rogers has made another speech. Link here

    https://news.liverpool.ac.uk/2018/12/13/full-speech-sir-ivan-rogers-on-brexit/

    “The Free Trade Agreement talks will be tougher than anything we have seen to date…..

    We shall, in practice, struggle to achieve even observer status in the setting of policies which will have a major impact on our national life…

    It really helps, in a negotiation, actually to know what you are doing and be stone cold sober about the real interests of the other players…”

    And so on and so on. Who will listen?

  43. @Davwell – “And I can`t resist a little aside that the empathy and intelligence shown by some of the featured farm animals exceeds that shown by some members of the HoC, IMHO.”

    That’s the answer!

    Feed the ERG grass, instead of red meat!

  44. @JamesB if there are three options, a two stage ref can never be fair as you’re always presuming an outcome. The only fair methods are either IRV/AV style or condorcet.

    You obviously know about this and as the question is now important I hope you can post a bit more.

    Are you saying that in a two stage vote, a rational voter has to take account of the potential outcome? For example, if I really want a May deal but fear no deal (Colin, for example?), I might vote remain because I fear that a May deal might lose in a run off. I certainly wouldn’t want a two option choice in which No deal might win (as Colin doesn’t, although not for this reason)

    This kind of problem seems to me to bedevil all systems, In Condorcet as I understand it, one would compare May v remain, May v no deal, and Remain v No deal. Suppose the true first preferences are Remain 45, May 20 and Leave 35 and suppose also that 10 leavers are true to their word and think May the worst of all worlds, all remainers think May is better than no deal, and all May voters prefer no deal to remain, In that scenario, Remain beats May 55 to 45. May beats leave 65 to 35 and Leave beats remain 55 to 45. What is one to make of that?

    Suppose one has a system where everyone votes for their first choice in round 1 and the one with the fewest votes is eliminated with their second choices being distributed among the remainder. That is in a sense unfair to May since she will almost certainly lose in the first round but might well win the second,

    The real problem is that the British people voted for Cake and not only for Cake but different kinds of cake that they wrongly believed could be palatably combined. Denied the possibility of cake a lot of people are going to be very angry with the target of their choice, politicians in general, the EU, Mrs May or Mr Corbyn (for continuing to offer cake and refusing to take it off the table).

    For these kinds of reasons it is attractive to have only two options – May or (Corbyn) deal and remain. This eliminates Cake as we can apparently have either (not really the Corbyn deal in my view, but perhaps that is something he has to learn). Jim Jam argues against putting No Deal on the table on the grounds that one should not offer the electorate attractive but poisoned food, Colin argues against it on the grounds that we don’t really know what it is and it therefore allows all kinds of cakeish fantasies (seamless borders, managed no deal etc).

    Personally I find Colin’s argument attractive. Fantasies of cake are the problems of referenda and the reason we should never have had one in the first place. However, I don’t see how one can have a referendum now without some kind of No Deal option. Anything else has TOH at the barricades, possibly armed with a Kalashnikov, when I personally would far rather be conversing with him in his allotment. (In fairness to TOH, he is one of the few who did not have fantasies of immediate Cake and may even have claimed to have foreseen the current impasse)

  45. EU have told teressa what they been repeatedly saying for the past 2 years.
    She will now go back to parliament and her party will say it unacceptable.
    shes been bouncing between these 2 walls ever since a50 was tirggered – like a game of pong.

    This isn’t a process of negotiation – its a stuck record. a program thats stuck.
    utterly dismal.
    meanwhile her cabinet drum their fingers waiting for the pointless motions to be gone through – all so she can delay the vote and stay in post for an extra couple of weeks.

  46. @JamesB

    Both AV and Condorcet are “fair” systems, but the problem here is that in the case where Remain doesn’t have 50% of the first preference votes (if it does, it really doesn’t matter which system you use, of course) they almost certainly give different answers. So how will Parliament decide which to use? (Most likely it defaults to AV and doesn’t even consider Condorcet, not on the basis of which option would win but because Condorcet has never been used in state-level elections and none of them will have heard of it … but then, of course, we had a referendum on AV and it was decisively rejected, so three-way FPTP would be the people’s choice even though it might not give a result the people want …)

    A third system – but one on which I don’t think there’s any polling to speculate on the result with – would be “Range Voting”. Score each option out of 10 independently, add up the scores. Unlike the other two has a major tactical voting problem about where you score your second preference for optimal outcomes.

  47. @Old Nat – I know what you meant! And I don’t disagree with you. Personally I would like to Scotland to have as much devomax as is compatible with a single currency. I think the regions should do likewise and we should be a federation. Unfortunately most regions feel that this just means another layer of useless politicians. So when we tried to get some sensible devolution within England we failed.

  48. Having written a long involved disquisition on voting I suddenly seem to see things more clearly. I think Colin and jim jam are right if I understand them. Both Labour and the Conservatives should say to the British people. You voted to leave the EU with a deal. This is the best deal on offer and you have to decide between that and remain. People of good will should also add that in practice and over time the deal is going to become a good deal less attractive than it looks at the moment but that is a debate to he had.

    So the likes of jim jam and Colin (i.e. the sensible parts of the Labour and Tory parties) should get together and vote for May’s deal subject to the proviso that it is confirmed by a people’s vote. If it is not we should revert to remain and try offering TOH any cake he likes (good luck with that one).

  49. The current skirmishes within the Tories is a taste of things to come. I’m afraid Theresa May has done her best, but the ERG smell blood now.

    Tactics of the ERG likely to try and default for no deal and assume the EU will blink first (wishful),

    The sensible pragmatic Tories probably need to either get Labour support or get abstentions, but even then, things could be tight now and party discipline is shot. If it crashes and burns, I see UKIP takeover of the Tories similar to what has happened with the Labour Party and Momentum.

  50. Charles – do you understand what IRV is, I don’t?

    Just to be clear I think any second ref should be the a version of Leave v Remain which could of course be no deal v remain, if the HOC does not pass.

    Like others, I think the best way for May’s deal to get through the HOC could be for her to say she wants it putting to the country so the HOC rejection can be verified or tested.
    Requires a U turn from the PM but as we know she is for turning!!

    It seems to me that Hard Brexiteers by not supporting May’s deal are making Remain more possible and even if they get some tweaks to make the deal more to their liking those tweaks may put some acquiescing remainers and/or soft Brexiteers off people off.

    I think the ERG have made the same judgement as Colin that, whilst their is some vagueness in the PD, the direction of travel is clearly for a Common Customs Territory. They don’t want to get out of the EU on March 29th and try to shape the trade deal with the EU as they think their vision has little or no chance of success.

    May’s deal is as hard a Brexit as possible imo and the ultras may decide in the end that it is better than nothing as it least we leave.

    Still leave DUP and 10-20 Tory Remain rebels and there are not enough Lab rebels to compensate.

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