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. NICKP

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

    Yep-in a nutshell!

  2. @charles

    Not necessarily. I am in the same neck of the woods as davwel. Our Polish stove installer and chimney sweep works very long hours while his wife does the company admin and they both raise three young children.

  3. Charles

    You are probably right on some of the Polish men not having partners here.

    But there are certainly plenty of Polish ladies about:

    http://www.paaberdeen.co.uk/news/crowdfunder-melting-pot-collective-takes-scotland-to-poland

    We know the director of music at the RC cathedral (she`s a Lancashire lass) and many young ladies attend and sing.

    And on Polish dating sites there seem to be more ladies than gents.

    If Old Nat had got back onto the board, we`d be getting messages on the long mixing of NE Scots and Poles in the C18 and earlier, with inter-marriage in the landowning classes.

  4. 80 days to go. I stick to my view that Labour will end up facilitating the approval of the May deal – in exchange for a General Election in May.

  5. hireton: 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).

    It opened for me as a spreadsheet in Open Office. But I found this pdf earlier today

    https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/3ia2o3oyky/PeoplesVoteResults_190104_LargePoll_w.pdf

  6. TCO

    Thanks for the link.

    ——————-

    It is clear from the tables that the results of this poll shouldn’t be included in the “nornal” polls for calculating averages. HOwever, it also doesn’t mean that it should be ignored as to the evidence on public attitude.

    The poll is driven by Brexit questions, which is fine, but it has the assumption (maybe correctly, maybe not) that this drives the polls (rather than the warm weather for example). On the other hand an election in the near future (unlike the 2017 one) would certainly be driven by Brexit. On the other hand, for the two main parties the Brexit opinion is not a predictor (well, according to the ooptions), on the other hand with grouping the options (how valid would that be?), they become predictors, although with quite some margins.

    Just to highlight it: by positioning Labour as anti-Brexit, it becomes anti-Tory, , but it reduces willingness (it is more from the proportions rather than evidence) to vote, while there is no such effect for the Tories as long as it is not May’s version. The fudged Labour stance loses votes to both to the minor parties (they are not minor in their popolous), and the Tories. Again it more of a discerning from the proportions than evidence.

    Now, with the Markov chain combined with Monte Carlo (used in 2017), the holders of the raw data (if there were further information pieces of the respondents), the effects on constituencies could be calculated.

    Obviously, from these tables it cannot be done, but both sets of options for Labour the likelihood is a minority Tory or Labour government. Clearly none of these options would give any answer to Brexit. But it is really not up to public opinion. Drilling through the proportions for the different hypothetical questions the suggestion is: highly polarised opinion with a high proportion of DK, or rather Don’t Care (the latter is not surprising at all).

    Still if one has time to create three dimensional graphs (my ones look ugly), this is a really interesting poll (for one point of the hypothetical scenarios one needs a five dimensional one).

  7. So it appears that a deeply undemocratic minority of Tory MP’s in Parliament are out to scupper brexit. I have nothing but contempt and loathing for such creatures.

    Hopefully in the end they will fail and we will leave on WTO terms. I remain optimistic despite this setback.

  8. I’m no expert on arcane House of Commons procedural matters, but according to those that are, last night’s vote does seem to have significance.

    The amendment in itself doesn’t amount to a great deal, but it is the numbers that are significant, and show that this particular grouping of opposition and rebels may hold sway. This could have very substantial importance, given their next move.

    A business amendment has been tabled for the start of the debate on the deal next Tuesday, which, if passed, would require May to come to the house within 3 days and lay out her plans for a no deal, with MPs having a substantive vote on these (ie being able to table their own amendments and in effect instruct HMG what to do next).

    If last nights coalition holds, this means that by next Friday we will be seeing what May’s actual intentions are, and then see if parliament has the numbers to instruct her not to leave without a deal.

    Potentially, this is pretty big stuff, both moving the timetable on very sharply, and therefore removing one of May’s key weapons, and also potentially taking the no deal option off the table.

  9. As I see it, given the mood of parliament, the house of commons intend to both vote against May’s deal and make no deal impossible. The EU on the other hand will only offer the deal as it is and would rule out an extension of time except to facilitate a second public vote. Most MPs don’t want a second vote and are unlikely to vote for one.
    The deal would seem to be the only game in town. Eventually!!

  10. NEARLY FRENCH

    @”As I see it, given the mood of parliament, the house of commons intend to both vote against May’s deal and make no deal impossible.”

    …….and ensure that planning for No Deal cannot be funded……..by a Government that doesn’t want No Deal because it has a Deal.

    !

  11. At present the only “unilateral” option for extending time on article 50 is to revoke an extension of the two years requires EU approval. Therefore the HoC can vote until its blue in the face against a no-deal outcome but this will only have effect if the Government revoke article 50 or gain the agreement for an extension. In my judgment the EU will not agree an extension without a purpose. That purpose may be re-negotiation which the EU says cannot happen (but if the UK current red lines are removed this might be an option) or a referendum. I am of the view that next week’s vote on TM’s deal will decide the path for the future.

    On another point it looks like the WTO may be about to collapse, in a practical sense, as an organisation becasue the USA is refusing to appoint judges to its arnitration panel, without the US judges the organisation begins to lack legitmacy. With a protectionist Whitehouse, the collapse of the Global system seems entirely possible: 1929 anyone?

  12. Yes, I think NearlyFrench has it about right. Most MPs do not want no-deal, or May’s deal and probably not a second referendum either. Most Conservatives don’t want a general election, except in extremis.

    Labour seem to want a vote of no confidence, a general election win followed by obtaining a better EU deal – a most unlikely sequence of events.

    At least Ken Clarke’s position makes sense, to withdraw A50 and re-apply for it if and when there is some consensus about what we want on these islands.

  13. Thanks @tco for the mega poll link which I managed to open. I cant see any sub GB figures there but it seems they have now been published elsewhere and James Kelly has summarised them here ( ignore the slightly tounge in cheek headline):

    http://scotgoespop.blogspot.com/2019/01/is-end-nigh-for-ruth-shock-yougov-poll.html

    I don’t know if the figures have been properly weighted for Scotland but, if they have, it’s not good news for the British nationalist parties if Brexit goes ahead, especially for Labour.

  14. The business motion point raises an interesting conflict point.

    I’m no expert on arcane House of Commons procedural matters either, but there’s already a timetable for what happens if the Commons rejects the menaingful vote defined in statue, in Section 13(4) of the Withdrawal Act.

    Can a House of Commons buisiness motion trump an express statutory provision? Leaving aside the undoubtedly desirable specific that it might help to move things on in this case, it seems a dubious proposition in the general.

    And if a House of Commons buisiness motion can trump a statutory provision, why stop at Section 13(4)? Just take the 29 March date out too.

  15. What an insight on the mind-set of extreme Brexiteers that when 303 MPs vote for the amendment to the Finance Bill, ToH picks out the 20 Tories.

    He says he has “nothing but contempt and loathing for such creatures”, which include some of the most decent and talented Tory ministers in the past two or three decades.

    When we have such irresponsible and silly comments from persons who should know better, is it any wonder that some far-right low-IQ folk are stimulated into assault and thuggery.

    But why, ToH, don`t you direct your verbal war against the 283 MPs trying to protect their constituents from decline in living standards or losing their jobs. Is this group not equally guilty in your view?

  16. @peterw

    That’s an interesting point and no doubt the HoC Clerk will be advising the Speaker about the admissability of the motion. One point is that it does not conflict with the Withdrawal Act, it simply defines the period more closely in which the Government statement needs to be made.

  17. @HIRETON
    I like that argument. Although presumably it means a failure to comply with the shorter period would have us back in “in contempt of Parliament” territory but not in “acting unlawfully” territory.

    Which will presumably affect the formal consequences but not necessarily the practical unlikelihood of open defiance.

    Like the finance bill amendment, on the one hand to no direct effect in stoping no deal but on the other all of a piece with piling on the political pressure to make brazening it out to no deal politically impossible (if it wasn’t already).

  18. Electoral Calculus has updated their monthly summation of opinion polls. This time it is 9375 people up to 20th December:

    Con: 38.4%
    Lab: 38.6%
    Lib: 8.5%
    UKIP: 5.0%
    Grn: 3.8%
    SNP: 3.3%
    PC: 0.5%
    Others:1.8%

    So it looks like a small swing away from Lab (a few tenths), but I suspect that the YouGov poll will prove to be an outlier.

    Also, here is an interesting article in The Conversation by David Howarth, Professor of Law and Public Policy, University of Cambridge (and MP for Cambridge 2005-10).

    https://theconversation.com/brexit-in-parliament-how-mps-are-trying-to-block-no-deal-by-amending-the-finance-bill-109473

  19. Seven Labour abstentions on Cooper amendment -Mann,Skinner,Cruddas,Austin,Barron,Nandy and Flint.Representing leave constituencies and swings to the Tories in 2017 their votes are probably in play on a plan b vote on the WA.

    Barry Gardiner equivocal on no confidence vote this morning-added caveat of when legislation on WA is voted down which wont be until late March?

  20. You can see the summary up to 27th November 2018 (or earlier if you want) using the Wayback Machine:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20181224123224/https://www.electoralcalculus.co.uk/homepage.html

    The Guardian are also running a series of articles on how Brexit is viewed in different parts of the country. After starting with Tower Hamlets and Bolsover, they are now in Bristol:

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jan/09/a-lot-of-people-are-angry-bristol-west-locals-say-labour-not-listening-over-brexit

  21. Brilliant Smith

    “Barry Gardiner equivocal on no confidence vote this morning-added caveat of when legislation on WA is voted down which wont be until late March?”

    Andrew Gwynne was completely unequivocal on Sky News this morning. He said that if May’s motion was defeated next week then Labour would call for a vote of no confidence.

  22. A thread on the far right network seeking to undermine parliamentary democracy through intimidation and other means:

    https://twitter.com/MikeStuchbery_/status/1082714484249161728?s=19

    Worth reading.

  23. It looks like Alec @ 7.52 am was too cautious in predicting that a major amendment to the Withdrawal Bill would be tabled next Tuesday.

    It seems to be this afternoon. I`ll have Radio 4 news on in 5 minutes.

    Could this herald the end of this hopeless and nasty government?

  24. Davwel

    “When we have such irresponsible and silly comments from persons who should know better, ”

    As a true Democrat I have to speak out at such a time. I picked out the 20 Tories because to use your own words, they should know better. I can assure you I feel equally about the others in Parliament who support attempts to prevent the result of the Referendum being enacted.

    My comments are not in any way silly as you put it, they are just an expression of my true feelings. You just cannot accept that others may be right and you wrong.

  25. Davwel

    “………………MPs trying to protect their constituents from decline in living standards or losing their jobs. Is this group not equally guilty in your view?”

    Except n my view they are not doing this in the long term. I believe that staying in the EU would mean a steady decline in the UK’s economic fortunes with the loss of jobs and poverty that would entail.

  26. ToH:

    Well now you have 5 more MPs to rail at, being that there were 308 voting against the government this afternoon.

    But hopefully you won`t express contempt and loathing at all 308, when so many respect the democratic RESULTS of the 2016 referendum, and want a compromise.

    A compromise to be decided by people who have been democratically elected from the whole UK, not decided by a minority government backed up by the extremist DUP.

  27. @Davwell – yes, I misunderstood the timings. It’s been tabled, voted on, and the government has now been defeated. This has substantial implications.

    Firstly, for Brexit, it appears to mean that Parliament will have a vote much sooner on the options, should May’s deal be defeated, and critically, Parliament will be able to table substantive amendments (eg instruct the government on what to do and not to do). This is the interpretation I have seen, but I’d recommend waiting for more expert commentators to check that this is correct.

    In a nutshell, if anti no dealers are in the majority, which appears to be the case, there is now a mechanism by which they can enforce this view onto HMG.

    In many ways I see this as a moot point, as May was never going to go through with a no deal anyway, but it means we should get a faster resolution and it removes the ability for may to use uncertainty as a bargaining weapon against MPs.

    The second implication is, in many ways, far greater than Brexit. In effect, in a delightful demonstration of how the UK constitution works, we have just witnessed a very substantial constitutional change.

    Up to now, business motions in Parliament could not be amended, which is one of the mechanisms of procedural management that gave great power to the executive.

    Speaker Bercow has knowingly overturned this convention. This is deeply controversial, but because we don’t have a written constitution, Bercow’s actions are completely constitutional. In point of fact, he has gone much, much further than merely ruling on this one amendment. Under questioning about the constitutional validity of his ruling from Ian Duncan Smith, and others, Bercow acknowledged that his ruling to accept the amendment was a break with convention, but argued that if we stick to convention, we never change anything.

    When challenged on the wider significance of this, he also overtly stated that he was minded to allow business motions to be amended more generally. Bercow has just changed the UK’s constitution in a way that significantly strengthens parliament and weakens the government.

    Brexiters will absolutely hate this, but in terms of the UK Parliament, this is what taking back control looks like!

  28. @TURK @PETE B

    21% of CON MPs are women, 45% of LAB are women. In the general population around 50% are women.

    6% of CON MPs are BAME, 12% OF LAB are BAME. In the general population around 13% are BAME.

    So the facts show that LAB are more representative of the general population than CON, in these areas.

    But, of course, you do actually already know this!

  29. “I picked out the 20 Tories because…..”

    I think @TOH is bright enough to know that he is being thoroughly inconsistent here in his aiming of abuse and unpleasantness.

    We have it on record that he thinks that there is only one form of Brexit, and by his own definitions, May’s deal does not fulfill what he defines as the meaning of the referendum result. There is no reason at all why he isn’t abusing May as a ‘loathsome creature’, because she is willfully seeking to overturn what he thinks the referendum vote means, so it is indeed odd that he singled out those 20 MPs.

    He needs to think a bit more logically, but I’m sure @TOH could find a bit more hatred to spread around if he really tried.

  30. Update on the Bercow decision today:

    Apparently this is the first time since 1880 that the Speaker has unilaterally changed the rules of the HoC. Back then it was the introduction of closure motions, which allow debate to be prematurely shut down. This was in response to Irish MPs prevented a government bill from progressing for five days.

    One observation; while entertaining, and perfectly legal, I do wonder what the long term implications of this action will be for the role of Speaker. It may end up politicizing the role, and bring party politics into Speaker elections far more than in the past. This may well not be a good thing.

  31. @TOBYEBERT

    I am not sure why Tories try and have a pi55ing contest with Labour on diversity and representation they fail consistently.

    I think in many ways their approach is demographically unsustainable in my view. Indeed the approach taken by Zac Goldsmith was pretty widespread in the east end of London during the Thatcher years

  32. Thanks, Alec, for explaining the significance of Speaker Bercow`s acceptance of today`s amendment.

    It seems a very reasonable step to take when a government totally abuses its power, as it has done in recent months on Brexit in a way that is going to harm many individuals and businesses. Other governments may try to similarly renege on commitments, or interpret advisory votes as absolute commands when their own supporters won.

    Bercow is a brave man to move our “constitution” on, and we should be grateful to him.

  33. @PTRP

    Well yes, exactly. If I could be bothered I could investigate loads of things where CON are unrepresentative of the general population, e.g. private education, private healthcare, Russell Group uni…..in fact all the ‘self-perpetuating elite markers’.

    But, like you, I can’t understand why they bother to deny it. I suppose they have to; it’s like Cameron describing himself as ‘middle class’; they need to do this to get the votes of the middle class.

  34. “So it appears that a deeply undemocratic minority of Tory MP’s in Parliament are out to scupper brexit. I have nothing but contempt and loathing for such creatures.”

    Is it undemocratic for the Parliament of the people to assert its sovereignty over the executive to determine what happens if and when May’s deal is voted down – and to make sure that that executive does not simply waste time when the clock is running down?

    I have nothing but contempt and loathing for the kind of language that some people use against people who are trying to do what they think is best for the country.

  35. DAVWEL

    I have no problem with a compromise provided it meets the original May red lines which represent a proper Brexit.

  36. Constitutionally Bercow has a point in the change: The change would not affect a Government with a decent majority, it would be able to get its business through without difficulty, however where a Government attempts to act as if it had a large majority when it doesn’t instead of attempting to find a Parliamentary concensus this ruling will bite. Therefore it is a strengthening of a democratic process where Parliament is the supreme body so that a minority government cannot use its control of business to undermine the democratic will of Parliament. Those arguing againt this might like to think how they would feel abou this ruling if a minority government of a different political hue was attempting to use its control of Parliamentary procedure to prevent MP’s expressing a view!

  37. ALEC

    Huge moment today, that I don’t wish to belittle, but strictly speaking:
    “In a nutshell, if anti no dealers are in the majority, which appears to be the case, there is now a mechanism by which they can enforce this view onto HMG. ”
    is wrong.

    The HoC was always able to pass a motion expressing this view. It can now do so three days rather than 21 days after Tuesday. But is still doesn’t “enforce” anything. As the Speaker himself said in answer to another point of order today “only statute can overrule statute”.

  38. PETERW

    Yes-that is my understanding.

    TM could simply say-within 3 days of a lost vote on WA-My PLan is to go to Brussels for talks & I will report back-in 21 days.

  39. @THE OTHER HOWARD

    Has not May already broken her red lines in effect. We appear to be basically following the EU directives/regulations without any representation isn’t that what the issue of the backstop about. My point I made to COLIN et al at the time was I thought that if May followed her red lines we could not have a deal. It is nothing to do with politics but everything to do with logic.

    To me it seems May’s only concern really is Freedom of Movement. Everything else is essentially up for grabs. This is actually far from the Lancaster House Speech but does chime the citizens of no where speech.

    My thoughts were that Tories had positioned themselves as true leavers after all. 70%+ of Tory voters, voted leave, 80% of members voted to leave and and from many polls a minimum of 30% of both voters and members for the Tories favour no deal indeed amongst members some polls have it as high as 60%

    So I can see how you would be upset with any form of deal since May deal essentially leave the UK in the orbit of the EU

    That said I would have thought that logically that leavers would have argued that having time limited deal which allowed 40 years of integration to be unpicked. I suppose going cold turkey is an approach but I feel that the problems that brought Brexit on will only be made worse.

    That said my view has been the arithmetic of the situation, the legal status of the laws parliament has enacted implies no deal. it is essentially the default. More importantly only May and the Tories can change it and given the number stated above I think they will be more interested in keeping the party together which is why I think we leave with no deal. I believe that it will rather difficult for the UK and that by the time we have recovered from the hit the damage would be such that we will not be on a better trajectory and we will have burned bridges which will take a long time to repair.

    As many have said on this forum (indeed leavers and remainers alike) our problems are mostly home grown and pretending that leaving the EU will miraculously change the country is to my mind wishful thinking.

    Lastly Mugabe style democracy is a rather interesting approach one man one vote only once
    ;-)

  40. @ Davwel

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

    I’m good at spotting patterns. From the previous occasions the forum has locked up, it’s clear that the default behaviour is that the thread stops taking new posts 16 days after the initiation of the thread. So just look at the first page, note the time of the first post, and add 16 days. Plus remove a few minutes, as the first post is often not immediate – I got caught by that one last time I tried and was too late, which is why I posted a bit too early this time. Then TOH sneaked in after, congratulations. Not sure I’ll be able to try again, as AW seems to have found the button that extends the deadline.

    Meanwhile, it’s time to put away the mince pies, turkey, mulled wine, etc. Not because of a New Year’s diet, just it’s time to get back to the popcorn. Looks like a fine few days of entertainment ahead.

  41. Belated Happy New Year to all on UKPR.

    So back to where we were a month ago. MPs and voters don’t want May’s deal but nowhere near agreeing on what do want instead.

    A good catch-up summary of recent Brexit polling of electorate from Prof Curtice
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-46735713

    and similar findings in the annual MP “poll” (a few caveats on this one though!)
    https://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/brexit-news-70-of-mps-think-theresa-may-has-done-a-poor-job-of-negotiating-britains-exit-from-the-eu-a4033976.html

    During the break the No Deal implementation has been progressing from UK and EU so no major grumbles from the Trevors. It’s not yet at the “managed” level of No Deal but moving that way.

  42. I see the tabloids are suggesting that TM may dissolve Parliament and go for an April election.

    I genuinely feel we’ll be in the Polling Booths in May or earlier ¡

  43. ORB’s monthly tracker is also out:

    https://www.orb-international.com/2019/01/07/orb-brexit-poll-january-2019/

    Worth opening the powerpoint slides to see graphic view of last 2yrs+ on their tracker questions.

    1/ Brexit negotiations “approval” back to the Chequers lows of net -50ish
    2/ Confident PM gets right deal. New lows of net -43
    3/ Britain economically better off post Brexit. Went to net -7 at time of Chequers and bouncing around that since.
    4/ Immigration v Free Trade is getting back close to equal after Free Trade having had a decent lead last Summer-Autumn

  44. MPs have got to start accepting that Leavers knew what they were voting for. When we voted we voted to Leave the EU, Leave the single market, Leave the Customs Union and Leave the jurisdiction of the ECJ. Not some of it, not most of it, ALL of it. Indeed, the Leave Campaign stated repeatedly that was what would happen, the Remain Campaign stated that’s what would happen and even tried to weaponise it, the Government leaflet sent to every household stated that’s what would happen and the Prime Minister in his TV address said that’s what would happen. So there is absolutely no doubt at all – no ambiguity, no misunderstanding, that every one voted Leave voted for that outcome and therefore for Parliament to honour the will of the people (which it claims it is doing) then that is what must happen. Likewise the Labour and Tory Manifestos in the subsequent General Election – everyone who voted Labour or Tory did so accepting those manifestos and every one of their candidates stood and campaigned on those Manifestos.

    Parliament needs reminding that when it passed Article 50 it accepted the terms – that you leave, deal or not and then passed the Withdrawal Act last year, it accepted that again enshrining March 29th, with no mention of it being reliant on any deal. If I was the prime Minister, when her deal fails next week she should move for a General Election. She should stand on a single issue – a pledge of a second vote, with two choices – her deal or no deal. At the very least it would force Labour into taking a firm position over Brexit that it won’t be able to fudge (such as the nonsense it gets away with now about renegotiating – which is not possible, the EU says so).

  45. @Colin Re: German Recession

    I suggest that you read this article from Der Spiegel:

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/germany-prepares-for-an-economic-downturn-a-1246980.html

  46. @ adw

    The Leave campaign also said that Article 50 would not be triggered until the future relationship with the EU had been agreed. So it explicitly ruled out a no deal and consequently that must also be what people voted for and is the will of the people.

  47. I would be surprised if we did have another General Election. What would the Tory manifesto state regarding Brexit? You have have many Tory mp’s unwilling to toe the line.

  48. @HIRETON
    @ADW

    There has been a constant presumption of what people voted for I campaigned for remain and In all honesty there were a myriad of reasons people voted leave and remain and more importantly why people vote Labour and Tory in the general election

    Many of the reasons were contradictory. Some had nothing to do with the EU at all. I accept that people on this site have by and large presented a set of reason that I may or may not agree with but to say people knew what they were voting and that was out of everything is wishful thinking

    For example the labour party wants to be a customs union with the EU that is not what ADW believes he voted for. The simple point that I have always stressed was that leaving the EU is sufficiently nebulous to allow for huge range of options. it could mean all things to all men. that is why you had people with completely opposite viewpoints standing on the same platform.

    Tell me what the hell the policy that unites JRM and Dennis Skinner.

    Now the simple fact are that leave won promising a number of contradictory options. Labours manifesto had a set of tests that could not possibly succeed. May has agreed a Withdrawal Agreement that fails to meet all er red lines. We can all agree it is a mess but go back to what Dominic Cumming said. he wanted the Leave campaign to be a nebulous as possible since that is how they maximise their vote. The real problem is that having done that executing on nebulousness becomes rather more difficult.

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