Opinium’s fortnightly poll in the Observer today has topline voting intention figures of CON 41%(+4), LAB 34%(-6), LDEM 8%(+1), UKIP 7%(nc). Fieldwork was between Wednesday and Friday, and changes are from Opinium’s previous poll in mid-January, conducted straight after May lost her vote on the deal, but won her no confidence vote.

A seven point Conservative lead is the largest since the election. While it is not significantly larger than the 5 or 6 point leads YouGov have been showing this month, it’s a noticable change to Opinium’s previous recent polls, which have tended to show Labour and Conservative roughly neck-and-neck.

As ever, one should be a little cautious about reading too much into a single poll. Survation’s poll for Thursday’s Daily Mail had fieldwork conducted on Wednesday, so actually overlaps the fieldwork period for this poll and showed a one point Labour lead with no meaningful swing from Labour to Conservative. It would be wise to wait and see if subsequent polls confirm whether public opinion has shifted against Labour, or whether this is just an outlier.

Also, be cautious about reading too much into what has caused the change. We really don’t know if there has been a change yet, let alone exactly where it has come from and why (not that it will stop people assuming things). It has been two weeks since Opinium’s last poll, and an awful lot has happened – so one cannot pin the change on any one specific event. Neither can cross-breaks really give much guidance (as Michael Savage notes in the Observer, Labour are down among both remainers and leavers… though discerning any signal from the noise of crossbreaks would be difficult even if the change was all on one side).

The full tables from Opinium are here.


589 Responses to “Opinium/Observer – CON 41, LAB 34, LDEM 8”

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  1. So Corbyn’s wish list for supporting May’s deal are changes to the PD that

    says the changes to the political declaration must include:
    A “permanent and comprehensive UK-wide customs union”, including a say in future trade deals.
    Close alignment with the single market, underpinned by “shared institutions”.
    “Dynamic alignment on rights and protections”, so that UK standards do not fall behind those of the EU.
    Clear commitments on future UK participation in EU agencies and funding programmes.
    Unambiguous agreements on future security arrangements, such as use of the European arrest warrant.

    Those are easy to achieve – just revoke A50.

  2. Project Fear, obviously. (I hope the token works).

    Anyway, the government told businesses that it couldn’t guarantee that the agreements between the EU and third countries could be rolled over after Brexit (apart from some African countries and Israel).

    https://www.ft.com/content/7beae1d2-2a39-11e9-a5ab-ff8ef2b976c7?fbclid=IwAR0SnT1_Bzo17YV1xwEgAU_odNhZhURUgKIDlaVNZFrmt7EqVtrYsF3PU1Y

  3. What is hard to understand is which aspects of EU membership Corbyn doesn’t want, and why he imagines that the EU would ever give a departing member state so many advantages of membership, without the downsides.

    That list of demands suggests that Corbyn is an naïve idiot, but I doubt that such is the case, so what on earth is he trying to achieve?

  4. OldNat

    “Those are easy to achieve – just revoke A50.”

    Yea, but without revoking A50 the five points are not feasible, unless we include last night’s vivid dreams that had an abrupt ending when the alarm went off.

  5. I think perhaps the most interesting thing about Tusk’s putdown and the response to it is the widespread acceptance of the idea that the EURef (and the campaigns in it) were somehow about choosing an executive (or even a legislature) to implement some idea or other that came out of the referendum. It reality it was never set up as anything of the sort.

    The real villains of the piece are the executive at the time of the referendum who had no plan to implement certainly one of the possible outcomes, and many of whom scarpered pretty sharpish. It could of course be argued that having argued for the losing proposition, it would be seen as politically “off” for people like Cameron to stick around to implement the winning one. That doesn’t seem to me to be an invalid point, but I would say rather that it’s a reason why the executive (who were in place to implement whichever outcome prevailed) should have remained neutral in the referendum campaigning! If the executive takes such a determined position in what is ostensibly a great show of direct democracy, I think it rather brazenly gives the lie to the idea that the motivation for holding the plebiscite is any kind of democratic principle rather than political calculation.

  6. @TECHNICOLOUROCTOBER

    I suspect that the problem for Corbyn is that whilst he is a lightening rod for discontent in the Labour party I suspect that the party itself (and I mean the member would not be that bothered to move beyond him to Emily for example. Indeed my view of the attachment to corbyn is that of the person that lights the way rather than being the messiah.

    So the question would be could a so called moderates live with Emily, which in my view is a clear yes. In the main their opposition to much of the left is not policy but electability and as such even Miliband is now seen as reasonable by the likes of TREVOR WARNE would suggest that the real problem is not policy but presentation of policy.

    However my view has always been had May been true to her word, she would have produced a more milibandesque manifesto and would have romped home. But half her party support austerity and indeed many of the brexiteer are extreme ne0liberals (again I keep pointing to TREVOR disdain for ne0liberalism) yet think voting with the ERG is not more ne0liberalism. bt as he concedes he took a gamble.

    So will the Tories split , definitely not. brexit to them is not the existential threat Corbyn is. can the Labour party split may be Corbyn’s electability is the existential threat again brexit is symptom of his electability.

    In the end the problem Labour has is as I have said keeping Bristol North West and winning back Wallsall North.

    it has always been clear that labour does not want to reopen the EU referendum because of division and the cost it may have to take in seats. but at some point they end up enabling brexit and that looks long term worse.

    May problems are very different. She has to provision Brexit that is coherent. it is the advantage of the Brexiteers that they never need to and rather than doing so find themselves more comfortable in opposition. it means they can appear pure and be not in the fray and not be blamed since they will always say Iwould not have done it like that. May problem is that whatever she does looks like a retreat from her red lines and proffering those red lines was done to appease brexiteers and will have to lead to a no deal

    So I am not sure one could call it stubborness of personality, I suspect it is actually the stubborness of the logical positions they are both in. The number basically say you have to be schizophrenic is you are a politician because the polls say the electorate is schizophrenic

  7. Apologies for lengthy post but have had poorly grandson here all day and am catching up.

    NearlyFrench
    “If we want all future trade deals to have the UK courts as the final arbiter, then we will trade only with ourselves.”

    My experience of trading with other countries is that the terms and conditions of the contract specify which jurisdiction will be the final arbiter. As an example for many US companies this is the US. I expect the same applies to many other countries.
    —————————————-
    Techni etc
    “There is no point in further negotiation and I think Tusk is acknowledging this.”

    I agree, but one would have thought he might have used more statesmanlike language (or was it a bad translation?).
    ————————-
    Allan Christie
    “Verhofstadt? Is that not what the Dutch or Germans shout when they get a High Straight in Yahtzee?”

    I thought it was when someone sneezed!
    ————————
    ON
    “Within the UK, it does seem likely that the dominant polity will feel more resentment at pooling sovereignty than the others.

    What may require explanation is why that should be so much stronger than in Holland within the Netherlands, or Castile within Spain.”

    Possibly because while those countries have been overrun multiple times, it is nearly 1000 years since England was. Though I do of course concede that the Jacobites got as far south as Derby one time for a few days.
    ——————–
    PTRP
    “We basically to a side issue and made it the most important thing in the world and now it dominates everything.”

    That’s because to many Leavers, sovereignty is THE issue. Other stuff matters, but if we are hamstrung by some remote power over which we have little say, it matters less. Ask the SNP legion on here what that feels like.
    ——————————
    Davwel
    “We will not forget the contempt of the ERG for minorities (apart from themselves)..”

    I will never forgive them for their total ignoring of the ginger voters. They have never been mentioned! Disgusting! Not to mention the dwarf-throwers.
    ———————————-
    EOTW
    “I regularly castigate a leave voting, labour supporting friend with one question, how could you vote with Farage, Rees-Mogg and Johnson?”

    And Dennis Skinner for instance (and probably Corbyn). This goes across party lines, and with luck will lead to a break-up of the two main parties in parliament.
    ———————————–
    ON
    “Matt has identified the special place in hell selected for Farage, Re-Smog et al after their physical (as opposed to political) death.”

    The link was very droll.
    —————————-
    Danny
    “Because unless the country is committed to one side or the the other, there cannot be a good position for the government to take.

    There continues to be the scope in all this to destroy the conservative party, and for labour to go down with it!”

    Nice to be able to agree once again.
    ————————————
    Techni etc
    “On the right, I would think that the ERG and UKIP are natural bedfellows, if the ERG provide the necessary ‘class’ which the leadership of UKIP so obviously lack. ”

    Possibly under Farage, but now that Tommy Robinson is a ‘personal advisor’ to the UKIP leader (though not a member) I can’t see it happening.
    ————————————-
    ON (re party splits)
    “Sensible – but unlikely with a FPTP system which virtually requires both to faction fight within their party to gain supremacy”

    But there could electoral pacts where (say) the ERG and Tories would not oppose each other at the ballot box and would agree to vote together on most things, and similar for Labour factions. I believe there are precedents for this sort of thing with Liberal factions on the mainland, and currently with British parties not standing in NI.

  8. I remember what I originally came here for. Has anyone discussed the possible outcomes for the Crown dependencies such as Isle of Man etc?

    I believe that they are at present part of the Customs Union, but not the single market. I wonder whether our negotiators are clever enough to wangle some sort of loophole so that they suddenly become great places to set up a notional head office for global companies? Somehow I doubt it, but it’s worth a thought.

  9. Question. Why do English, Welsh and NI students have to pay tuition fees to study in Scotland when Scottish and EU students get it for free?

    Same thing probably about prescriptions in Wales, Scotland and NI.

    P.S. Please don’t flame – I’m in my early 30s and was brought up as British and have always consider myself British, sharing many family holidays all round these islands. I genuinely don’t understand why everyone is so desperate to differentiate themselves and indeed even govern themselves. I have never called myself English to anybody. NI is for them to decide.

  10. Pete B

    I sympathise. Spent last week looking after grandson with chicken pox.

    Laszlo

    I won’t enquire as to that vivid dream! I hope it wasn’t at an exciting bit when the alarm went off.

    Re Corbyn. Of course, I had forgotten his nasty xenophobia. He can’t accept immigration, and would want to get rid of all these bloody Hungarians for a start! :-)

  11. @PETE B
    OK but if sovereignty is the big issue and you are the smaller party as is often the case when dealing with say the US does this just not mean that you have none. As you point out in your post above.

    We keep arguing that sovereignty is the issue but then can agree on what we need to do. My point is that this was a power play where tow implacable foes tried to join up to fight a third (the left and right against the centre and the left and right won but could not divide the spoils of winning. That is the problem we have and always have had sovereignty we just dd not like what one or other side was doing

    So you ask the left behinds who fault was it, they say well if we are all English then it is the “non english that are stopping us because we are in the same tribe right?” The issue of sovereignty is double speak for not have a government that we like and indeed we could not decide that decisively.

    It why I maintain that we don’t really care about sovereignty per se, it is a convenient hook with no real means to many that say it. So for leavers whilst is was one of the issues it was not the overwhelming one even amongst leavers.

    In speaking to an irishman tonight he pointed out that he could understand that idea of independence then I pointed out to him tell me again the difference between Irish independence and how it came about and the EU and he smiled. he then said the UK were not smart they could have used the vote for leverage and pointed out that UK has a nebulous set of demands which ones would you want to accept and again he found it hard to do.

    As I said I have accepted we are leaving without a deal a long time ago indeed whilst I thoroughly disagree with THE OTHER HOWARD on most things I think it was the one thing we agreed that would happen. he most probably because that is what he wanted , myself because we do have a plan and more importantly do have clue

    As I said the LEAVE campaign was marvellous, it gather disparate groups with nothing in common and looking for diametrically opposite outcomes to agree that leave was the best course of action. that we would take back control. in the most centralised government in the western europe. As I said I believe the take back control was argument was actually a cry about power much closer to home than you think and that in many ways is the sad part about this.

  12. Lewblew

    “Question. Why do English, Welsh and NI students have to pay tuition fees to study in Scotland when Scottish and EU students get it for free?”

    It’s very simple. The Scottish Government pays HE institutions the equivalent of a fee for all residents of Scotland (their “nationality” is irrelevant). EU rules require that students from other EU states (which those resident in rUK aren’t) are treated identically to the home students (whether that is provision at state or sub-state level).

    Hence students from anywhere in the UK can study without having to pay any tuition fees in any jurisdiction in another EU state, where local residents’ fees are paid by their government.

    Your wish that no one should want to govern themselves does have a certain impracticality. Do you want no governance? identical rules on regularity of bin collections decided for the whole planet by the UN? Perhaps the Inter-Planetary Federation should make all the rules?

  13. @POPEYE

    I keep looking at what the UK electorate voted for and then turn around and say would I want to be a politician and sort that out………

    I think more than anything else the electorate gets to share in the mess. ten executive failed because in truth we voted for contradictory things and expect the executive to actually miracle a solution. The fact is that the whole thing split the main parties such that one may split permanently and the other sees it electoral opportunity collapse.

    The point was that this was always going to be messy because voted for change by a narrow margin. the change itself was profound without actually addressing many of the underlying ill the country has. Indeed the underlying ills were never really addressed since in part th e EU referendum was seen a s grooming exercise for who would take over the Tory premiership.

    the overlapping faultlines mean that when Leave won firstly even the Leave campaign made sure they campaigned on no plan such that they could gather the widest voter base. Their own post plan pretty much locked out most everyone (put Giselle as a Labour lead spoke person would be laughable)

    I often point to Iraq and the fact that over 60%b supported the invasion of Iraq and yet down the line only 30% remember supporting it. We voted for unobtainuim and still believe it is a real thing.

    That has to be buyer beware

  14. Today, for the 4th time in less than 3 weeks, the HoC proceedings ended at 2:30pm because the UK Government decided that there was no business for the House to debate.

  15. @OLDNAT

    What is hard to understand is which aspects of EU membership Corbyn doesn’t want, and why he imagines that the EU would ever give a departing member state so many advantages of membership, without the downsides.

    I think his problem is one I documented earlier he has to win back Wallsall North (whom for better or worse voted Tory for only the second cycle since 1955 when the seat was created and voted leave by a large margin and have decent levels of deprivation and keepp Bristol North West which has Airbus next door Bristol being a thriving city, with start ups and tech decent university (dare I say it latte drinking ellite sort of status for people in Wallsall)

    You cannot straddle that but t try you end up with what you he wrote, it leave Jim but not as we know it. May is doing exactly the same sort cognitive dissonance because that is what we basically voted for

  16. PTRP

    So the core of your argument is that the future of the people living in the UK state, and its component parts, is of considerably less importance to its political leaders than their faction gaining power over what may be the shattered remains.

    I don’t disagree, I just remain surprised that any sane person would vote for any of these mindless fools.

  17. [email protected]: IThey see it but think they can ride it out. After all, Corbyn has survived many challenges in his relatively short period in charge of the Labour Party; and TM has to date always managed to negotiate compromises within Tory Party to continue in the job.
    And because nothing bends, they don’t think it is brittle.

  18. Oldnat,
    “Whichever of Con or Lab split first, will hand a huge advantage to the other side.”

    yes, that is what it is all about. The disaster which is brexit has everything to do with the system of government in the UK, not the policy. Remain needed a secure parliamentary block clearly calling for it, as indeed did leave. The mess we have now is because no MP is willing to say what they actually believe, because they belong to a grouping so broad as to seek to encompass both leave and remain.

    Both parties have fought to not commit to an outcome so as to avoid splitting their vote. I think they understand full well the system and danger of a party split, and have been fighting to avoid a voter split. The aim is to manipulate voters so that a change of policy can be effected, not to lead voters by changing policy and then calling for support.

    It might be that brexit becomes the supreme example of why the Uk parliament is not fit for purpose.

    RAF,
    “They see it but think they can ride it out.”

    The FPP system greatly simplifies the problem of remaining in power without actually achieving anything to justify keeping that power. of course they want to ride out anything threatening that.

  19. oldnat: What is hard to understand is which aspects of EU membership Corbyn doesn’t want, and why he imagines that the EU would ever give a departing member state so many advantages of membership, without the downsides.

    That list of demands suggests that Corbyn is an naïve idiot, but I doubt that such is the case, so what on earth is he trying to achieve?

    It is a letter for the historical record, which sets out Labour’s position. Basically, Corbyn and Labour have colluded in running down the clock to a tory brexit, by not having a strong position. Now that the EU [Tusk] have called time on negotiations with the ‘place in hell’ comment, Labour are left exposed. I suspect that Tusk’s remark today signified the end, before Labour expected in – and the longer contribution from Tusk criticising the opposition to brexit has caught Corbyn on the hop.

  20. @Danny

    “It might be that brexit becomes the supreme example of why the Uk parliament is not fit for purpose”

    Brexit has exposed Parliament because most MPs do not want to leave the EU. But they chose to devolve that decision to the people, they even stood for election on a manifesto promise to implement that decision (yes, you too Letwin!).

    They now cannot agree anything, and there is no trust in the house between members or the public. The sooner the whole deed is done the better.

  21. @Hireton – re that ‘plan’ from Vote Leave – they were so thick that they didn’t even work out the mistake on line 3 –

    “If we Vote Leave on 23 June, the Government will need a roadmap to implement the policy voted for by the public.

    Vote Leave believes there should be 1) a negotiation strategy for the informal talks that will precede the formal negotiations leading to a new UK-EU treaty…..”

    They hadn’t even worked out that the EU wouldn’t talk about anything until A50 had been triggered.

    There probably is a special place in hell for these numpties, but I very much doubt they would be able to find it, if this is how they view roadmaps.

  22. DAVWEL

    “She consistently stretches a 52% vote into allowing her to say Britain decided.”

    She is not stretching a point at all. Britain did decide 52/48 to leave the EU. You forget it was a nationwide poll.

    “Which means the only sensible course is to abandon the end of March leaving date.”

    Not at all, the 29th March is encapsulated in british law and was voted as such by the HoC.

  23. popeye,
    “The real villains of the piece are the executive at the time of the referendum who had no plan to implement certainly one of the possible outcomes, and many of whom scarpered pretty sharpish”

    I dont really think this stands up to a bit of thought. The executuve stated its belief that the best option for the Uk was remain. I dont perfectly recall, but I expect it also said leave had no coherent demands and indeed conradictory ones. The lesson of what has happened since is indeed they were corect to have said this. No executive could have delivered what leave promised, because different leavers want flatly contradictory outcomes.

    In hidnsight, it would not have been possible for any govenment to have prepared for brexit as promised by leave, which simply was undeliverable. All they could have done is say it was undeliverable.

    Leave were freee to say and promise whatever they wished. It is not possible for a government to plan to deliver on fantasy.

  24. The Other [email protected]: “Which means the only sensible course is to abandon the end of March leaving date.”

    Not at all, the 29th March is encapsulated in british law and was voted as such by the HoC.
    British law is an ass, then.

  25. So two developments that both seem to nudge everything towards a CU and soft exit.

    Firstly, the reports of the acrimony within the AAWG, which do seem to fit with May’s public statements. It sees pretty clear that the ERG are being kept in the loop for the express intention of making sure they confront the folly of their thinking. They have realised this, and aren’t happy.

    Of the cancelled trip to NI – “[an ERG member] said the agenda organised by the government was designed to expose hardline Brexiteers including Steve Baker, Iain Duncan Smith and Theresa Villiers to meetings in which various Northern Irish representatives would warn them against the dangers of a no-deal Brexit.”

    They clearly aren’t happy being exposed to factual analysis from the people most affected. This is always the trouble with ideologically driven zealots.

    The second big development is Corbyn’s letter. It appears to represent a reasonable way through the mess that will be extremely difficult for may to ignore – unless the AAWG comes up with a viable solution.

    Corbyn seems to be wanting to ensure the promised protections are enshrined under treaty law, so would be inviolate, while largely negating the Irish border issue via a CU. He has thrown in some perfectly sensible specifics, like maintaining European arrest warrants, which are impossible to argue against.

    This will displease hard line remainers, but equally it has to be said that Labour’s approach to Brexit has been pretty consistent and unwavering. Corbyn has doggedly presented legal protections, close alignment and involvement in a CU as his price for support, and very little seems to have changed in his line over these last three years.

    If this goes through, Labour will have a problem with remainers, but they will at least be able to say they respected the result of the vote and blocked the mad plans of the Tory party, writing protections for working people into UK law in perpetuity,

    If such a deal ends up what we get, then the polling will become actual, rather than theoretical. The Labour leadership may be able to say that the outcome is much more aligned with what their voters wanted, than the Tories can.

    Corbyn’s path here has been difficult, with the temptation to support the binary opposite from May and go remain, but instead he has presented an alternative leave option to the Tories, and this might end up being viewed rather positively by many as a second best option.

  26. PTRP

    “As I said I have accepted we are leaving without a deal a long time ago indeed whilst I thoroughly disagree with THE OTHER HOWARD on most things I think it was the one thing we agreed that would happen. he most probably because that is what he wanted , myself because we do have a plan and more importantly do have clue”

    Yes we agreed over a year ago that leaving with No Deal (WTO) terms was the most likely. Actually i have always wanted a deal as long as they met May’s red lines which i think define leaving the EU properly really well. It’s the one thing she got right.

    If we leave with no deal so be it, much netter than Remaining or May’s deal IMO.

  27. Pete B
    “My experience of trading with other countries is that the terms and conditions of the contract specify which jurisdiction will be the final arbiter.”

    I think you are missing the point. while the contract might say, eg the law of the US applies, the intenational trade treaty between Uk and US might include a rule which is relevant, but the law of the US states something different.

    In such a case where the Uk sees the US law contradictory to the treaty provisions, some body must have the power to decide whether the US law is a fair interpretation or a violation. The treaty could say this is the legal system of the US, the legal system of the Uk, or some other international body. Perhaps a specially appointed council with 5 members appointed by each side?

    Obviously the Uk would see it unfair if the US interprets the treaty and could declare black means white. Similarly the US would object to the UK having the last say. And so international bodies are created.

    The EU is one such international body. Thats all it is!

    Oldnat,
    “Today, for the 4th time in less than 3 weeks, the HoC proceedings ended at 2:30pm because the UK Government decided that there was no business for the House to debate.”

    Could you imagine a worse indictment of any government? Nero fiddling while rome burns.

  28. OLDNAT

    @”Those are easy to achieve – just revoke A50.”

    Exactly.

  29. OLDNAT

    @” what on earth is he trying to achieve?”

    Good question.

    “Tonight ITV News is carrying a report that a private poll that has been seen by Momentum suggests that LAB seen to be backing Brexit would be worse for the party than the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

    It is reported that it was commissioned by the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) trade union. An analysis based on the polling has been shown to Momentum and the conclusions are worrying for red team. The ITV News report notes:

    “A briefing paper based on the polling has been shared with leading members of the shadow cabinet, including John McDonnell, to increase pressure on Labour’s leader Corbyn to come out in favour of a referendum.

    The most powerful conclusion of the research is: “There can be no disguising the sense of disappointment and disillusionment with Labour if it fails to oppose Brexit and there is every indication that it will be far more damaging to the party’s electoral fortunes than the Iraq war.

    “Labour would especially lose the support of people below the age of 35, which could make this issue comparable to to impact the tuition fees and involvement in coalition had on Lib Dem support.”

    The polling itself was carried out by YouGov.”

    pb

  30. Jonesinbangor,
    “Brexit has exposed Parliament because most MPs do not want to leave the EU. But they chose to devolve that decision to the people, they even stood for election on a manifesto promise to implement that decision (yes, you too Letwin!).”

    No, the problem is that MPs have committed to doing something which is impossible, and refuse to admit it is impossible.

    I agree they would have been better off simply refusing to hold an election and inviting UKIP to win MPs to change policy. But holding one referendum did not settle the matter. They got the wrong result, but they do seem to have tried to implement it. The problem is implementation has proved to be impossible.

    There are two ways out. Either do what they always thought best, and cancel Brexit, remain on the authority of parliament. Or, hold a second referendum with a single choice of the route for brexit which parliament has chosen, or to reject this and remain.

    At the moment parliament is straddling the impossble divide of acting on its own authority, or acting on voter instruction. It cannot follow voter instructions, so it either has to stop the whole thing or seek further instructions.

    Polling says if brexit proceeds with labour help, labour loses seats. but I have always believed, conservative MPs believe if Brexit proceeds on their authority, they lose seats.

    I dont recall polling on the subject of if brexit proceeds and is an economic failure, how would people then vote. The obvious difficulty with such questions is that asking people to say how they would vote given something has happened which they firmly believe is impossible, is likely to be rather unreliable.

  31. TO

    “British law is an ass, then.”

    That may well be your opinion, but it is still the law that applies in the UK. The law would have to be changed and i cannot see that happening before the 29th March, a Brexiter filibuster in the Lords is all that is necessary to stop that even if it passed the HoC which I doubt it would.

  32. I see the EU’s Brexit co-ordinator Guy Verhofstadt has joined in with Tuxk’s insults. Keep it up chaps it helps my cause!

    :-)

    In reality i think it shows they are running scared as somebody else posted earlier.

  33. Alec,
    “If this goes through, Labour will have a problem with remainers, but they will at least be able to say they respected the result of the vote and blocked the mad plans of the Tory party, writing protections for working people into UK law in perpetuity, ”

    But they will lose the next election.

    I think this is essentially a bluff. They are agreing to assist with a softer brexit, in the reasonable confidence that the EU has stated negotiations are over. Also, that leave are already pretty committed to rejecting brexit on the May terms, never mind on even softer ones.

    It has been pretty well established by the tories that no softer brexit could actually be acceptable in any leave deal. Labour is trying to nudge the conservatives into accepting something unacceptable to its voters, before the whole thing gets rejected anyway.

    Conservative are trying to nudge labour into accepting something unacceptable to its voters, before the whole thing gets rejected anyway.

    if this was a book, I would have skipped pages and pages already.

  34. @OLDNAT

    Haha… I guess my issue regarding wanting “no-one to govern themselves” is the definition of ‘one’. I don’t really understand what makes a Scottish ‘one’ more different to me than, say, someone from Newcastle or Essex or the Isle of Wight (I’m from Hampshire). All areas and all individuals within these areas have different and similar needs and separating helps some and not others.

  35. I agree with most of your analysis Alec but there’s one big problem. Corbyn’s offering could work if we were in an internal UK negotiation, but we are in negotiation with the EU and a lot of what he wants they won’t countenance for a non-member.

  36. Alec – good summary and Starmer signaling that ‘easy’ movement that ends Free Movement of citizens but continues free movement of workers (plus families) is further encouragement to the EU.

    Could it be that Tusk’s remarks about PV/Remain having no leadership be a signal to those backing close alignment previously, who may not support now as they chasethe grail of a reversal (via ref 2), to get behind a Soft Brexit.

  37. @ ALEC – “they were so thick that they didn’t even work out the mistake on line 3 –”

    So it’s OK for Remain to call Leave thick but not the other way round. I’m fine with the insults but it does make you a hypocritical tw4t.

    Various Leave groups had extensive “roadmaps” prepped way before the ref and i can’t be bothered to go through the history but suffice to say May b0tched the GE, b0tched the talks and has cut those with the plans out of the negotiations. Some parts of some plans were bonkers and still are (eg the UFT WTO lot) but in the “compromise” processes those parts would probably have been chopped out.

    Few are denying the current state of negotiations is a mess (and none on UKPR). Polling clearly shows folks are aware of that: latest YG had 78% thinking negotiations going badly, net 64% – even partisan CON VI are 65%, net 36% “going badly”

    Anyway, keep calling Leave th!ck and don’t forget to add in the rac!st slur as well – we’re very used to it and nowhere near as precious as EU luvvies ;)

  38. @Danny – “I think this is essentially a bluff. They are agreing to assist with a softer brexit, in the reasonable confidence that the EU has stated negotiations are over.”

    This is entirely wrong.

    Everything in Corbyn’s letter is readily available in the PD. The EU _has not_ said that negotiations are over – only that the WA is not going top be reopened. Even here, it could be reopened, if the EU felt they were facing a partner prepared to take a sensible line.

    Basically what Corbyn has done is to restate Labour’s long standing policy towards Brexit, with some slight tweaking to remove an overt reference to maintaining everything we currently have in the SM.

    If we can think on how this will play out;

    May needs to get the backstop changed, of face defeat from her own side. If she cannot change this sufficiently – and she is already going back on the terms of the Brady amendment by saying that the backstop will be changed, not replaced (although an element of semantics there) – then her side votes down the deal.

    Corbyn has presented her with an option that the EU will readily accept, and certainly cooperate on with regards extensions to A50. A large chunk of remainer conservatives will also swing behind this. It’s possible the DUP could do so as well – I don’t know whether they have a red line over a CU.

    So May will be possibly left with a choice between carrying the UK out on a no deal exist in six weeks time, or accept Labour’s proposals, which business will want, along with a majority of voters, or alternative revoke A50.

    Beginning to think Corbyn’s done this OK.

  39. Pedantic point if I may about Corbyn’s letter which the BBC are saying drops the 6 tests demand for support.
    This is of course inaccurate as the 6 tests were never Labours’ policy but 6 claims made by the Government that they would achieve.
    I advised a few times (not too many I hope) that Labours’ own position was short of the 6 test and I think Corbyns’ letter captures where it has been for 18 months or so.

    There is a problem of the cakism in the ‘having a say’ in trade deals which I see as the biggest obstacle to overcome but some words around consult could be found which while not enough for critics might give sufficient political cover (even is frankly only a sop).

  40. Labour advocates the Cold Turkey solution.

  41. Lidington’s response to the latest Corbyn wheeze.

    So what bit of the PD doesn’t he like & why ?

  42. @ LASZLO – Hypothetical polls

    I agree nothing much to worry LAB in the Union poll. These kinds of polls need a huge pinch of salt IMHO anyway.

    It comes down to “framing”.

    Corbyn successfully framed the 2017 GE as Brexit being “settled” and the focus was on austerity and +ve future for the “many”. May barely showed up but pushed a -ve campaign based on her being “strong and stable” versus everyone else being “coalition of chaos”.

    I use that example as once Brexit is over then Corbyn can get back to areas he is passionate about and areas that are strengths for LAB. He will be able to reframe the debate after Brexit. He’ll be selling “cake” IMHO but folks love “cake”. If CON go for a -ve campaign again purely focussed on “how much will it all cost” they are doomed – they need to get some +ve reasons for folks to vote for them not rely on ABL.

    Hence asking questions with a preset framing around a single issue are of little value. Sure, if we have a GE before Brexit is settled then it’s different but once we’ve left EU then it will be down to the new priorities and how each party manages the “framing” of those with the public.

    So beyond the obvious issues:
    1/ CON needing to ensure Brexit is delivered and avoid UKIP returning
    2/ LAB needing to avoid a split and a new Remain party

    It’s hard to see much value in hypothetical polls. If enough LAB MPs quietly let Brexit happen then that is not on Corbyn – he can and will reframe the debate afterwards.

    CON on the other hand will “own” Brexit consequences and hence rapidly need a post-Brexit plan, a +ve one, not “damage limitation”.
    (bit rambly at the end there, apologies)

  43. Colin – Liddington can wait until he has seen Starmer today but he (Liddington) knows that Labour need entrenchment and clarity that would make it virtually impossible for the next Tory MP (as it will be) to ignore and go down the Canada+ route.

    Alec – Starmer can’t say in public what Barnier has told him in private but I would ask posters who are sceptical to ask themselves 2 questions.

    Is there anyone in the HOC who knows more about Brexit and related matters than Starmer?
    Is it likely that he would advocate a position publicly that he has not had private assurances over?

    Remember he net Barnier more times than Davis and Raab put together.

  44. @Danny
    ‘The only right answer to the referendum was a big win by one side or the other’

    Hello to all contributors on UKPR – I have enjoyed reading all your posts on the never-ending Brexit dream/nightmare (delete as appropriate) and think Danny’s comment sums up the essential problem we have.

    For such a momentous decision a higher bar should have been required; even 55% would have been acceptable to most I think. Given that didn’t happen and we are where we are, what would work to move us on?

    How about this fantasy scenario: we have another referendum and to assuage Leavers who won the first time, we say they only need to get more than 50% again. Remainers on the other hand need 55% to win. Either outcome would help to put the issue to rest.

    It will never happen of course but it just struck me as a way out!

  45. @ ALEC – “A large chunk of remainer conservatives will also swing behind this” :-) :-)

    Wishful thinking and we’re back to versions of DANNY’s “cunning plan”.

    Let’s take a recent HoC vote to see the issue (amendment a/ from 29Jan19)
    https://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2019-01-29&house=commons&number=307

    How many CON MPs backed that – 0!
    How many DUP MPs backed that – 0!

    Not even Soubs will vote with LAB front bench, maybe at some point but that will lose you the whip and ensure you are deselected at the next GE. Next GE being inevitable if you split CON as a party or break C+S with DUP.

    Like it or not, the partisan divide is a huge barrier to x-party agreement. Even the Cooper amendment lost by a 23 majority! On the other hand May picking up enough LAB Leave (and “get on with it”) rebels makes the numbers work as we saw with the Brady amendment.

    Corbyn is playing it very well from a tactical perspective. He’s offering something that sounds generous and helpful but he also knows few, if any, CON MPs will ever back it (plus it’s “cake” but most folks probably don’t see that)

    Post Brexit he can easily say “we’d have done it differently” and most folks will probably believe him!

    SNP and LDEM can say “we wouldn’t have done it at all” but we needed Corbyn for that.

    PS I note ‘PeoplesVote’ are going to bottle it again and not propose an amendment on a new ref next week. One might start to think LDEM want Brexit to happen and be really messy, just so they can get a few more MPs in the next GE?

  46. @JonesInBangor

    “Brexit has exposed Parliament because most MPs do not want to leave the EU. But they chose to devolve that decision to the people”

    It also exposes the largest parties’ inclination to put political success ahead of national interest (party before country). Everyone knows it to be so, but it’s no less galling to see it demonstrated daily.

    Additionally, it exposes the practice of politicians fearing an informed electorate, or fearing becoming boring when trying to explain to the electorate a complicated issue. Blame the media and the short attention span of the modern media audience (ironically, it was encouraged by politicians for decades).

    If the complicated things are too complicated for the people to vote on, why give them the vote? Because UKIP was stealing 5%-15% of the total vote share and potentially 10%-25% of the Tory vote share, and that extra 3.8 million votes was there for the taking.

    Party before country.

  47. 10-1 for “Revoke”:

    https://www.betfair.com/exchange/plus/politics/market/1.154317483

    Possible scenarios:
    A/ Soubs+co hit the “nuclear button” and back Corbyn in a VoNC
    B/ Some backbench alliance wins a majority without either front-bench support, they somehow then enable themselves to Revoke A50, in time.
    C/ May decides to split her party in full knowledge we’d then need a GE and CON would get hammered

    When you think it through you see how unlikely it is! Not impossible but this is not LAB winning Canterbury long-shots (25-1), there was a plausible scenario where that would happen (kudos again to Dr.Mibbles, Richard and others for highlighting it at the time!)

    PS The “Extend” bets are more complex. Read the small print!! Some form of minor technical ‘Leadsom’ extension would still need to change EU and UK law but is obviously very different to a 9mth extension (that involves EP elections, etc). if I sound obsessed by the process then that is because I am!

  48. Statgeek,

    Party Fundraisers before country according to Talk Radio!

  49. @ COLIN – “Labour advocates the Cold Turkey solution.” :-) :-)

    Good one!

    Sadly though the PD is so vague that we could end up with that. Lidington obviously doing the “day job” of party politics but by showing how bad the eventual deal could be it is a bit of an “own goal”.

    The PD keeps everything from WTO+ through to Turkey- as possibilities but that is all they are. IMHO the “backstop” skews the likely outcome to Turkey- (hence agree that in theory Corbyn should back it, but for political reasons he can’t back a CON PM!).

    Maybe May did hope most MPs would see a hope for their personal favourite outcome and back her but instead they saw the risk of their worst-case outcome and voted against by 230 votes!

  50. Agree Trevor,

    I thought that the vagueness would allow May’s deal to get the both wings of the Tory Party and the DUP on board but the back-stop put paid to ERG/DUP and enboldened the softer Brexit (secret revokers/ref 2) group.

    Labour in essence as you imply want the looser relationship options to be rules out but this is unacceptable to most too many Tory MPs and their members.

    Corbyn has to do this on the off-change but also to exhaust the other options before moving reluctantly to ref 2 as the ‘only way to avoid no deal’.

    I thought this would happen the end of next week but think it might be end of the week after or even early w/c 25th with the recess cancelled.

    Labour also pushing for A50 extension officially now and that has to be denied for a couple of weeks before the move to ref 2.

    NB) I expect nothing of significance on 14th from the PM but hope I am wrong.

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