A brief update on the state of the polls as we head towards Christmas. First let look at voting intention. The six voting intention polls we’ve seen published so far in December have all shown the two main parties essentially neck and neck – two have shown tiny Labour leads, two have shown tiny Conservative leads, two have had them equal (the YouGov poll for the People’s Vote campaign in the Sunday papers today may have had a slighter larger lead, but it shouldn’t upset the average).

Opinium (14th Dec) – CON 38%, LAB 39%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 6%
YouGov (7th Dec) – CON 38%, LAB 37%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 3%
Kantar (6th Dec) – CON 38%, LAB 38%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 5%
Ipsos MORI (5th Dec) – CON 38%, LAB 38%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 4%
YouGov (4th Dec) – CON 40%, LAB 39%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 4%
ComRes (2nd Dec) – CON 37%, LAB 39%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 6%

Despite the incredibly turbulent situation in British politics, there has been relatively little change in voting intention since the general election. Through late 2017 there was a very small Labour lead, for most of 2018 there was a very small Conservative lead (with a few periods of Labour ahead – most significantly the weeks following the Johnson/Davis resignations). At no point has either party really pulled away. Politics may have been chaos, but voting intention have been steady.

This itself is remarkable given the state of the government at present. If you look at any other measure, they are in a dire situation. The government’s net satisfaction rating in the MORI poll last week was minus 45 (24% satisfied, 69% dissatisfaction). That is comparable to the sort of figures that the Brown government was getting in 2008 or the Thatcher government in 1990… both periods when the opposition had a clear lead in voting intention. Any question asking about the government’s main policy – the delivery of Brexit – shows that a solid majority of people think they are doing badly at implementing it. Today’s poll from Opinium found people thought the party was divided by 69% to 18% (and quite what those 18% of people were thinking I do not know!). And yet, the Conservatives remain pretty much neck-and-neck in the polls.

I can think of three potential explanations (and they are by no means exclusive to one another). The first is that people have simply switched off. The ongoing chaos isn’t impacting people’s voting intention because they are not paying attention. The second is that voting intentions may still be being largely driven by Brexit and, regardless of how well the Conservatives are delivering Brexit, they are the main party that claims it is committed to doing so, and while support for Brexit has fallen, the split in the country is still normally around 47%-53%.

The third potential reason is that Labour are not a particularly attractive option to many voters either – one of the few clear changes in the polls this year is a sharp drop in Jeremy Corbyn’s approval ratings. At the end of last year his approval rating from MORI was minus 7, in the MORI poll last week it was minus 32. On YouGov’s Best Prime Minister question he continues to trail well behind Theresa May (and often both of them trail behind “Not sure”).

While it is interesting to ponder why the voting intention figures remain stable, it’s not necessary particularly meaningful. In the next four months Brexit will either go ahead with a deal that many will dislike, go ahead without any deal with whatever short or long term consequences that may bring, or be delayed or cancelled. Any of these has the potential to have massive impact on support for the parties.

On Brexit itself, public opinion on what should come next is not necessarily much clearer than opinion in Westminster. Throughout 2018 opinion has continued to drift slowly against Brexit – asked if we should remain or leave polls tend to find a modest lead for Remain – typically showing a swing of around 5 points since the referendum (They are helpfully collated by John Curtice here – his average of the last six polls to ask how people would vote now currently shows a Remain lead of 53% to 47%).

While the majority of people don’t support Brexit any longer, that does not necessarily translate into clear
support for stopping it, or indeed for most other courses of action. Poll after poll asks what the government should do next, and there is little clear support for anything. Theresa May’s proposed deal certainly does not have majority support (YouGov’s Sunday Times poll last week found 22% supported it, 51% opposed. MORI’s poll found 62% thought it was a bad thing, 25% good). When Opinium asked what should happen if the deal was defeated, 19% wanted to re-open negotiations, 20% said leave with no deal, 10% said have an election, 30% have a referendum, 11% cancel Brexit altogether. When MORI asked a similar question with slightly different options 16% said renegotiate, 25% said no deal, 10% an election and 30% a referendum.

When polls ask directly about a referendum they tend to find support (although, to be fair, most polls asking about referendums normally find support for then – it is essentially a question asking whether the respondent would like a say, or whether politicians should decide for them). However, a new referendum is obviously a means to an end, rather than an end in itself.

And therein lies the problem – there is scant support for most plausible leave outcomes, but reversing Brexit in some way risks a significant minority of voters (and a majority of the government’s supporters) reacting extremely negatively indeed. In the YouGov Sunday Times poll last week they asked what people’s emotional response would be to the most plausible outcomes (current deal, no deal, soft Brexit, referendum and no Brexit). Would people feel delighted, pleased, relived, disappointed, angry, betrayed, or wouldn’t mind either way?

If Britain ended up leaving without a deal 23% would react positively, 53% negatively.
If Britain ended up leaving with the proposed deal, 20% would react positively, 51% negatively.
If Britain ended up with a softer Brexit, staying in the customs union and single market, 27% would react positively, 35% negatively.

Finally, if there was a referendum and Britain voted to stay, 42% would react positively, 39% would react negatively. This is the outcome that would have a positive reaction from the largest proportion of people, but it would also be by far the most divisive. When asked about their reaction to the deal or a soft Brexit, most people gave people towards the middle of the scale – they’d be disappointed, or relieved, or wouldn’t mind. Asked about reversing the decision to Leave, answers tended to the extremes – 26% would be delighted, but 23% would feel betrayed, including 51% of people who voted Brexit back in 2016.


1,579 Responses to “Where public opinion stands”

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  1. My predictions for 2019 will be that whatever happens half of the U.K. will feel sold out. 100% of the UK will think politicians are a pretty poor lot.
    And poor old JC will continue to confuse Labour membership support for Labour voter support when it comes to brexit and winning in Labour vote leave seats in a general election.
    My other prediction will be that my poor Spanish will not improve ,much to the amusement of wife, mother-law and her Mexican farm hands.

  2. MILLIE.
    Happy New Year to you.
    I agree with most of your predictions, except I think Corbyn will remain as leader of the Labour Party. He will struggle on until 2022 at least; as most of the members still have faith in JC .

  3. Hmmm, not quite, so try again….

    The last post?

  4. Having just about recovered from watching that marvellous British film “The Railway Children”, (a great favourite of mine) I thought I would wish you all, regardless of views, a Happy New Year.

  5. Are we back in business?

    In case we are take a look at this from Britain Elects:

    Westminster voting intention:

    CON: 40% (-1)
    LAB: 34% (-5)
    LDEM: 10% (+3)
    GRN: 4% (-)
    UKIP: 4% (+1)

    via
    @YouGov
    21 Dec – 04 Jan
    Chgs. w/ 17 Dec

    Sample size reportedly 25,000

  6. Test

  7. The YG poll looks alarming for Lab, and fits with the theory that it is their absorbing of remain voters that has helped lift them in the polls, with these voters being put off by Corbyn’s periodic apparent denunciations of a second referendum etc.

    However, it’s also worth noting that it was completed over the holiday period, when we have been warned to take polls with some caution.

  8. I thought we might be gone for ever. In which case it would have been somehow appropriate that the last post was from ToH wishing a happy new year to friend and foe alike.

    And given our happy return, it is also appropriate are from stalwart posters commenting on our central polling concerns.

  9. The 2018 polling averages Jan – Dec
    Con -2.2%
    Lab -3.0%
    LD +1.3%
    UKIP +1.5%

    I haven’t kept the Green averages but they are up a bit as well. I presume SNP and/or PC have picked up a bit to account for the rest of the Con-Lab fall.

  10. It’s a joy to see UKPR back – I’ve missed you guys (and ladies of course)…

    It’s an interesting poll – it reverses the apparent dip in LDem support that other polls hadn’t picked up. And it’s a large sample, but at an unreliable time of year. And is there an element of push-polling in the latter questions?

    What is key for me is how steady Tory support is, despite the cluster-bourach of the pulled vote, leadership contest and constant internal warfare – it’s staggering to me, and unparalleled IMHO for a riven government to be holding its vote so well.

    I can only put it down to the group of voters that believe the Tories are a disaster, but LDems are inconsequential and Corbyn would be even worse…

  11. I see from the electionpolling site that their average of polls gives a small Con majority after a period of “Con short by…” .Will the PM be tempted?

  12. @Bazinwales. I doubt TM would call an election now as she has already said she wouldn’t fight the next one.

  13. Alec

    “The YG poll looks alarming for Lab, and fits with the theory that it is their absorbing of remain voters that has helped lift them in the polls, with these voters being put off by Corbyn’s periodic apparent denunciations of a second referendum etc.”

    From my own anecdotal evidence amongst the Labour Party members and supporters I know (and that’s quite a big sample!), I’d say you are spot on. In spite of JiB’s continual assertion that coming out for Remain would harm Labour’s poll ratings, I think the reverse is the truth. A good gutsy statement from Corbyn saying we are going to campaign for a second referendum and a remain vote would improve Labour’s ratings no end.

  14. @Norbold – that is very much my sense also, and apparently also backed up by repeated polling data.

    Quite a while ago I posted that I felt May was in a situation where she had abandoned hope of getting enough support from her own side for a deal, and was essentially daring Labour to back or oppose Brexit, at the very least sharing the discontent between government and opposition, whichever way Labour jumped.

    Somewhat fortunately for Corbyn, her deal is widely seen on all sides as so inadequate that opposing it will put Labour in the mainstream of opinion, while still keeping open their options.

    The ECJ ruling on revocation also greatly strengthens Labour’s hand, as this makes clear that the PM would have to decide to walk without a deal if her deal is voted down, and that the choice to engage in such a damaging and disruptive path is hers and hers alone. Corbyn could not be dragged into the blame game following a no deal exit. This is the fundamental reason why May was so keen that this issues was not legally resolved.

    However, Labour are still engaging in the fiction of a new deal, which is highly unlikely to happen, whatever the UK circumstances are. For now Corbyn is holding to an apparently mangled, but still just technically coherent line, but the polling perception of this is getting more and more difficult for him.

    As ever, Labour just want May to make all the decisions and be blamed for all the mistakes and outcomes, whatever those are. This is not very endearing from the viewpoint of the national interest, but is probably quite effective partisan politics.

    I think they can probably still get away with this, but it would be more comfortable for them once the situation regarding the deal is clearer and they can start an unequivocal process of calling for a second vote.

  15. I’m glad UKPR’s back up and running. I was getting withdrawal symptoms. It’s the only place I’ve found where you can get relatively civilised and intelligent discussion from various viewpoints (at least some of the time!).

    I was worried that Anthony had finally lost patience with us. Would it be worth someone setting up some kind of backup forum in case of future disruptions? I know of Facebook groups and Yahoo groups but I expect there are better or more modern things. It would need to be accessible by old fogeys.

  16. Agree, Labour need to get off the fence and come down for remain, or atleast a second referendum

  17. @ANDREW MYERS I doubt TM would call an election now as she has already said she wouldn’t fight the next one.

    That’s not quite what she said. She wasn’t as clear cut as that.

    Apart from which, if she went for an election it will be because her major policy had been rubbished by Parliament including a significant chunk of her own MPs. In which case she would be doing oit toio force the point because Tory MPs would have to back their party’s manifesto, which would be Mays deal.

    Personally, I think she will face one of two scenarios:

    a. A modified version of her deal passing on a second vote, in the main because Labour abstains.
    b. She resigns, is replaced by a caretaker PM who in turn seeks a snap election to get a mandate on whatever the Tory position on a deal is at that point (probably mitigated No Deal).

  18. @ADW – very hard to envisage your scenario b). That would involve an election campaign focused almost entirely on a total Tory civil war. Large numbers of Con MPs would be openly campaigning against their own leader, and the party would effectively be in the process of splitting, using the GE as the mechanism. The press would have a field day. The ‘optics’ of this would look awful, and holding a GE with that backdrop would be about the worst possible scenario for Cons.

  19. I thought the polling evidence was fairly consistently that Labour was worse off jumping either way but less worse off jumping to remain tban jumping to leave.

    Which is why Labour’s tactic has been to avoid jumping as long as it possibly can. Indeed, if it can avoid jumping at all, that’s probably its best outcome. It may be running out of road on that one though.

  20. @ ALEC “The ‘optics’ of this would look awful, and holding a GE with that backdrop would be about the worst possible scenario for Cons.”

    True enough. A recipe for probable defeat. But when the “prize” is a grenade with the pin out and the time delay on the fuse almost up …

  21. As a committed remainer, I disagree about Corbyn & Labour.

    They need a referendum BEFORE they can commit to the new result (hopefully remain) otherwise they have to back result of last one. They can’t “switch to remain”. Most they can do is openly switch to support a new referendum.

    ideally they’ll be forced by a neutral HoC.

  22. My gut feel is that:
    – Corbyn would on balance prefer to Leave as he feels the EU is a ne0-lib project that makes his policy objectives (which he genuinely believes are best for the UK in the long term) harder to achieve
    – however he know most of his MPs, members and voters are pro-EU
    – he also knows that leaving the EU will deliver short-term problems
    – he also knows that some Leave-supporting Labour voters/members will be incensed if he backs away from ‘honouring the referendum’

    Based on all this, and from a partisan perspective, his logical course is to attempt to engineer the UK leaving the EU:
    – in a mess
    – under a Tory administration
    – in a way that Labour can be absolved of responsibility for either supporting or preventing Brexit

    From where I am sitting, he looks to be following this almost precisely…

  23. @BIGFATRON

    What happens still depends critically imv on what the Government really will do if it can’t bounce the HoC into the deal and it really does play out into a no deal v no Brexit choice.

    But I think whatever the government intends, from a partisan perspective, his logical course is still to sit on his hands.

    If the Government is bluffing, as I suspect, the Opposition is better off calling that bluff. The Tories will take the electoral hit when they are forced to call a halt. The damage it could do to the party could leave them unelectable for a generation.

    And if the Government is not bluffing, then your scenario unfolds, and the economy could take a hit that could leave them unelectable for two.

  24. It`s nice to see us back in action, if only to let off steam when unwelcome news comes to our ears or eyes.

    And from my point-of-view as a Remainer, there`s been plenty of that since Jan 1st. What with Jeremy Corbyn being luke-warm in attitude, and the BBC giving much air time to Rees-Mogg and Duncan Smith. Yesterday they even were broadcasting again in later programme Duncan Smith`s unchallenged spiel about no problems with a No-deal Exit.

    But how did Trigguy on Jan 1st predict the end of posting? Maybe I jump too easily to such extrapolation.

  25. Thank goodness the website is back up Anthony! All my thumbs were completely twiddled, my heels were completely kicked and I’ve loitered, dallied and dawdled and then I faffed and laiked about waiting for UKPR to grind back into motion :)

    Happy New Year!

  26. @NickP

    “Most they can do is openly switch to support a new referendum”

    In that case I hope for their sake and everybody else’s that they do it quickly.

    I also hope that they make it clear what the options are. I guess the public feel that May’s deal is as good a compromise as is going to be possible. I doubt that the continuing claim that Labour is going to negotiate a better deal is going to convince them otherwise.

  27. A belated Happy New Year to all. I am back in the saddle and will once again occasionally comment and hopefully provide useful, and neutral, information about the law and its meaning.

    On the polling front I believe we may be in the calm before the storm and on Labour’s polling much in my opinion will depend on next week’s vote in HoC.
    As to the future I am reminded of the fact that before a Tsunami the shoreline will often recede out before the dreadful event occurs, I do feel we may be currently at that stage!

  28. LABOUR ETC

    Just to remind everybody that the LAB leadership are doing exactly what they were mandated to do at last year’s conference, namely a strict sequence of: apply the six tests and vote against if tests failed; go for a GE election; go for a renegotiated deal; go for a second referendum.

    The leadership keeps insisting that the membership are in charge of policy, so they have to keep to the process mandated at conference.

  29. @TURK

    “My predictions for 2019 will be that whatever happens half of the U.K. will feel sold out. 100% of the UK will think politicians are a pretty poor lot.”

    I agree many voters will feel sold out, probably nearer three quarters than half. But I hereby disprove your idea that 100% of the UK will think politicians are a pretty poor lot. CON are stuffed full of grey men in grey suits but LAB have many talented people among the old guard (Benn, Cooper, Creasy, McDonnel) and some good newbies too. And LAB have women!! And people of colour!! Good grief; they’ll soon be representative of the population at large……..oh, yes, that’s the idea.

  30. One logistical issue regarding Brexit is becoming more acute as the days pass.

    There are 6 major bills which need to receive Royal Assent before 29 March ( including Trade, Agriculture, Fisheries , Immigration and Withdrawal & Implementation Bills) and 403 Statutory Instruments of the 700 identified by the UK Government as necessary for Brexit need to be laid before parliament ( of the 297 which have been laid to date 67 have been approved).

    There are under 60 sitting days before 29 March.

  31. @ Hireton

    So maybe the lack of HoC time is another reason for the DTel reporting that an extension of Article 50 looks inevitable.

    That would give Theresa an excuse sufficient to fool some of her supporters

  32. I think the German Foreign Minister was bang on the nail this afternoon in Dublin. As he opined, the UK cannot stop a No Deal Brexit, by triggering Article 50 they have already authorised it. It can choose to accept Mays deal, leave without one, or remain. The lilklihood of an extension to A50 is remote and will only be granted to have a vote. It will not be granted for more negotiations.

    Personally, if it ever came to a second referendum (and I don’t think it will) it will only be one of leave with no deal or Remain, or a remote outsider is leave with no deal or Leave with May’s deal – I say remote because I cannot see how Parliament can vote down leaving with Mays deal as totally unacceptable then put it to a referendum, then if it won the very same MPs then vpoting in favour of it – that would be Mickey Mouse in the extreme.

    Likewise this proposed amendment by Yvette Cooper – straight from a Carry On film. So the party of the workers intends to try and put through an Amendment that would result in Public Sector workers being sent home with no pay? PMSL. Apsart from which, she is going to have to specifically define what No Deal is, meaning anytthing else isn ‘t no deal – not even a mitigated no deal (which is where we are headed at the moment as the CTC has been extended no matter what, UK has recognised EU citizens currently here no matter what, Spain has recognised UK citizens rights in Spain no matter what and Italy likewise. Not to mention Spain has made agreement with the UK just before Xmas that Gibraltar frontier current processes etc remain unchanged no matter what and UK has passed into law no hard nborder on the UK side in Ireland no matter what. So in reality full No Deal is already not going to happen no matter what.

  33. Has anyone seen the full tables for the most recent YouGov poll quoted by @andrewmyers and by others on Twitter etc? It doesn’t seem to be on YouGov’s own website so presumably it was commissioned by somebody else?

  34. @Hireton
    Do you mean the 25k sample poll commissioned by People’s Vote referred to in this thread, or a new one?

  35. TobyEbert
    “And LAB have women!! And people of colour!!”

    So the fact that the PM is a woman and the Home Secretary a ‘person of colour’ somehow doesn’t count?

  36. So once again the Tories and their supporting media are trying to turn our attention from the Brexit debacle by creating some activity about the Salisbury poisoning.

    It`s so obvious.

    But nothing about the chaos on Scotland`s railways due to shortages of staff. It seems 10% of services are getting cancelled or stopped at intermediate stations, with dumped passengers eventually getting to their destinations by bus.

  37. Interesting Brexit related story in the Grungiad today, with an article looking at attitudes in Bolsover. I was struck with the finding that many EU migrants had come over to work in the Sportsdirect warehouse, and the impact this had on housing has apparently been one key factor in turning Labour voters to Brexit.

    The article said that Sportsdirect are now taking measures to guard against Brexit impacts, which includes partial automation of the warehouse to reduce labour demands.

    This is interesting, in that it tends to support the idea that unlimited migration helps businesses maintain a high headcount/low productivity system, and following from this, it would seem perverse to argue that it doesn’t also exert a negative market pressure on wage rates.

    The critical question would be whether ordinary Bolsover voters would have reaped any benefit from not having so much inward migration – would there have been fewer, high value jobs for them to pick up? It’s a tricky one, as the current round of automation will mean Sportsdirect will continue to operate, but unless there are government mechanisms to capture the ensuing profit and redistribute this into the wider economy, it’s difficult to see how ordinary people garner any benefit from this. On top of that, the loss of workers from the local economy will have other negative impacts on service providers elsewhere in the local economy.

    There is an awful lot of complicated stuff around Brexit, free movement and the resulting economic impacts, and I don’t think either side has yet answered these problems convincingly.

    I keep coming back to my initial thoughts, which is that migration adds gross value to an economy, but creates distributional impacts which won’t be unwound to the benefit of the most adversely affected just by stopping the migration. It’s government’s that need to act to smooth out the distributional problems, whatever the wider scenario is, and we have had governments (all colours) that have repeatedly failed to adequately address these issues. That’s why immigration has become a problem.

  38. Tobyebert.

    As a Tory your forgive me if I take a rather different view of the Labour Party of today which I believe is lead by the two Marx brothers old men with even older ideas .
    As to female MP’s and those from differing ethnic backgrounds well both parties have a mix of them however only one party has ever had two women leaders and it’s not the Labour Party .
    However on my original point of how people view politicians in the over 40 yrs I followed politics I can’t think of a period when the standing of politicians has been so low .

  39. Andrew Myers reported these figures at 11:53 last night.

    “In case we are take a look at this from Britain Elects:

    Westminster voting intention:

    CON: 40% (-1)
    LAB: 34% (-5)
    LDEM: 10% (+3)
    GRN: 4% (-)
    UKIP: 4% (+1)”

    Like one or two others I wonder if this will have any effect on the voting intention of Conservatives, particularly those on the Government payroll.

    I am probably in a minority here, but I cannot help feeling the answer to our terrible confused situation has to lie in parliament, not in a further referendum.

  40. @ bigfatron

    The 25k poll.

  41. Found the link to the full fieldwork for the PV poll:

    https://bit.ly/2s9hzCn

    Unfortunately it won’t open for me but perjaps someone else will have more luck ( or skill).

  42. Government defeated in Parliament.

    Appears there is a majority in HoC AGAINST No Deal even if it isn’t pro anything else.

  43. NICKP
    Government defeated in Parliament.
    Appears there is a majority in HoC AGAINST No Deal even if it isn’t pro anything else.

    Yes, 20 Conservative MP’s rebelled and voted for it, 3 Labour mp’s went the other way

  44. Alec, i lived in neighbouring NE Derbyshire for 9 years up until a couple of years ago, and never met an eastern european immigrant. Anecdotal but there’s a lot of b0llox in that piece imo.

    Its a rural former mining area that hasn’t had the urban regeneration of bigger former industrial areas, hence ripe for dissatisfaction.

    Agree about the need for distribution of immegration benefits. This has been the big problem for a long time.

  45. So there you have it. Government quick to respond to the defeat tonight on Amendment 7, and re-confirm (yet again) that we will leave on March 29 no matter what

    And as for earlier suggestions about renogotiations, after both Ireland and Germany earlier backed the EU position that there are no more negotiations that’s it, the French Minister for Europe Nathalie Loiseau insisted there is no chance of renegotiation.

    To continue with the belief that their can be renegotiation by Corbyn or anyone, or that A50 can be extended for more negotiation means that you believe France, Germany and the EU itself are only joking.

    Reports Macron is in deep deep trouble with regards the forthcoming euro-elections with Le Pens lot forecast to be the largest French party in Strasbourg, with more seats than all the other French parties combined.

  46. @ALEC

    My view is that the problem of Bolsover is similar to that of Walsall where high paid secure jobs have been replaced by low skill low wage ones. The argument regarding automation versus keeping workers is often the ability to invest and the return on investment

    Our problem is that we have become a service based economy and whilst there are certian high skill roles within this style of economy the average is actually quite low. Walsall did nto have the influx of immigrants that seems to characterised Bolsover but it did end up with a huge number of distribution centres (due to its location.) What people complain about however is the same issues whether you have immigration or not. Does immigration exaserbate the situation? Yes it can do and clearly there is an argument that it did but it is not the issue in Walsall. There the issue is one of skill and style of jobs and the willingness of our entrepreneurs to create a certain style of job.

    it gets scary when 1 in 6 of us works in retail, when skill requirement for 20% of the jobs identified by CIPD reequires no more than the education level of a 10 year old. It begs the question how much would you pay a 10 year old and what are going to do with all these skilled people.

    Not having an industrial strategy to deal with these issues is part of the problem. The other part of the problem is that we are for better or worse competing with peopel as far away as China, and they are producing skilled and willing workers at lower levels of pay and China’s China is Africa, So you are finding that the skilled staff are going to be successful no matter what, it is the bottoming out of semi skilled and unskilled work that is the problem.

    The argument that we can carve out a niche in the big wide world tends to forget that the big wide world is coming for our lunch and we have no real capability in terms of strategy to really stop them

    As I said once, in speaking to VC, he pointed out that places like Bolsover will lose because someone has to not everyone will be successful and in his view trying to solve it will only bring more disappointment. That is a frightening view and one I do not hold but there is truth to the fact that given the choice, more peopel would choose Derby over Bolsover and that is the problem with competition how do you satisfy the losers

  47. B & B

    Unlike your experience in NE Derbyshire, there`s plenty of Poles keeping our economy afloat in NE Scotland.

    For some years I have seen RC churches advertising Polish masses extra to their normal ones, and at Fraserburgh the RC priest lamented to me that his church was simply not big enough, standing worshippers most Sundays.

    Near to us, a big new house was getting harled by a foreign team who had worked incredibly long hours. My wife went by and enquired what country they had come from. “We Poles, and if Brexit, we go home straight away. Then your building work stops”.

    This on Brexit was volunteered without a question, and clearly there were some Scots building workers on site, as the shouts of “fit like” and fars the pail” indicated. Poles and Scots seemed happily mixed, but the Poles put in several more hours a day.

    Meanwhile our papers are filled with news on shortages of workers especially in NHS and education. 7 repeated adverts for a chemistry teacher at Aboyne Academy have been unsuccessful. And deaths have occurred during long waits for ambulances.

  48. @Davyell I suspect the Poles put in longer hours because they are not with their families. If they were their partners would soon complain.

  49. Charles (and others)

    Well, Hungary has had many demonstrations in the last few weeks – it’s mainly because of the slave act (400 hours overtime in a year – effectively 6-day working week evened to the Working time directive over three years, without collective agreement). It was partially introduced to placate the foreign investors, but also because of the shortage of labour). The equivalent exists in Poland, although a bit more circumspect. Families do suffer. And we can include Japan, or course, where for the salaryman the Working time (including commuting) is in excess of 13 hours a day.

    While newspapers are full of experiments with 25-hour working week and alike, statistics suggest lenghtening of working time (in a good German car manufacturer workers have to repair quality problems (even if it is not their fault in their unpaid time, for example).

    The trouble is much deeper. The low wage economy (without doubt helped by migration) in the UK (but it would have happened at least for some time without immigration) holds up any kind of technological innovation. Innovation happens, but it is modular, shifting the workforce to other sectors. It is really a major threat to the UK economy (high level equilibrium) but it is only made easier by migration. It’s one of the odd points where all major (English) parties agree: make it easy for home businesses.

    Norway’s model could be followed (I know the difference of scale), otherwise soon…. soon…. running out any option. It could be maintained though for a very long time (China managed it for almost 500 years, but those were different times). I don’t think future generations would be particularly pleased.

  50. ADW

    @”Reports Macron is in deep deep trouble with regards the forthcoming euro-elections with Le Pens lot forecast to be the largest French party in Strasbourg, with more seats than all the other French parties combined.”

    The EP election results are going to be very interesting.

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