There are two new voting intention polls out today – YouGov for the Times, and Ipsos MORI’s monthly political monitor in the Evening Standard.

Ipsos MORI‘s topline figures are CON 38%(nc), LAB 38%(nc), LDEM 10%(+1), UKIP 4%(nc). Fieldwork was between Friday and Tuesday (1st-5th), and changes are from MORI’s last poll back in December.

YouGov‘s topline figures are CON 41%(+2), LAB 34%(nc), LDEM 10(-1), UKIP 4%(-2). Fieldwork was on Sunday and Monday, and changes are from YouGov’s last poll in mid-January.

This does not, of course, offer us much insight on what is really happening. At the weekend a lot of attention was paid to a poll by Opinium showing a big shift towards the Conservatives and a 7 point Tory lead. Earlier in the week Opinium also published a previously unreleased poll conducted for the People’s Vote campaign the previous week, which showed a four point Tory lead, suggesting their Observer poll was more than just an isolated blip. Today’s polls do little to clatify matters – MORI show no change, with the parties still neck-and-neck. YouGov show the Tories moving to a seven point lead, the same as Opinium, but YouGov has typically shown larger Tory leads anyway of late so it doesn’t reflect quite as large a movement.

I know people look at polls hoping to find some firm evidence – the reality is they cannot always provide it. They are volatile, they have margins of error. Only time will tell for sure whether Labour’s support is dropping as events force them to take a clearer stance on Brexit, or whether we’re just reading too much into noise. As ever, the wisest advice I can give is to resist the natural temptation to assume that the polls you’d like to be accurate are the ones that are correct, and that the others must be wrong.

Ipsos MORI tables are up here, YouGov tables are here.

541 Responses to “Latest YouGov and Ipsos MORI voting intention polls”

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  1. @Ericgoodyer – you are quite correct regarding fishing and Brexit. As with many parts of the agricultural sector, the biggest issues for UK producers is access to the EU market, while the biggest issue for UK consumers is access to the EU market.

    We’ve previously done fishing pretty much to death on here, but from memory I think it’s 75% of the UK fishing fleet is engaged in non-quota fishing, so will be entirely unaffected by whatever happens, while I think I’m correct in saying that the UK fleet has a total quota share from EU waters that is a higher proportion than the proportion of UK waters to total EU waters.

    Fundamentally, there is no real replacement for cod or haddock available within UK waters, and while there are abundant other non-quota species, such as megrim, these can’t replace the fish we traditionally like to eat.

    The Brexit response to this tends to be that we will need to learn to eat different fish, but again, that’s not really the message we were sold in 2016.

  2. @TOH – no need to reply but thanks for yours nevertheless. I am not sure how many treaties have ‘get out clauses. It feels a bit like ‘i’ll do this as long as it suits me’. I am not sure that many countries will want to trade with us on that basis.

    On the bright side England’s batting seems to have picked up.

  3. My reason for placing more trust in EU farming policy than DEFRA can be summed up with two examples:

    Badgers and Bees.

    Badger culling

    In 2007, the final results of the trials, conducted by the Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB, were submitted to David Miliband, the then Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The report stated that “badger culling can make no meaningful contribution to cattle TB control in Britain. Indeed, some policies under consideration are likely to make matters worse rather than better”. According to the report:

    detailed evaluation of RBCT and other scientific data highlights the limitations of badger culling as a control measure for cattle TB. The overall benefits of proactive culling were modest (representing an estimated 14 breakdowns prevented after culling 1,000 km2 for five years), and were realised only after coordinated and sustained effort. While many other approaches to culling can be considered, available data suggest that none is likely to generate benefits substantially greater than those recorded in the RBCT, and many are likely to cause detrimental effects. Given its high costs and low benefits we therefore conclude that badger culling is unlikely to contribute usefully to the control of cattle TB in Britain, and recommend that TB control efforts focus on measures other than badger culling

    The Government went ahead with culling.

    Bees and pesticides

    If you don’t know the details they are is here

    In a nutshell, scientific evidence suggested neonicotinoids pesticides were harming bees, EU proposed a ban, farmers, chemical companies opposed band – UK government sided with farmers and industry until it came under immense pressure and did a last minute U turn realising it would lose anyway.

    The pesticide story also demonstrates why the EU are so twitchy about the border. If post Brexit, the UK relaxed it’s laws on pesticides, can you tell if the flour in a loaf of Mother’s Pride or Pat’s Pan has been treated with pesticides?

    My final point, many on here highlight flaws in polices, whether HMG or EU and how it could be done better, I am looking at you Trevor, but the reality is post Brexit we will have the same fools running the country making the same mistakes.

  4. Colin

    Thanks for the links.

    As I said, I’m ignorant of the subject, and happy to learn about it.

    It is obvious to me that organised human activity reduces biodiversity (although probably to a different degree in different kinds of biodiversity). It is also obvious to me that intensive agriculture would reduce biodiversity at the places where it takes place, but it also reduces the activity in terms of territory (there was a French research I have it only in hard copy from the Annales school suggesting the massive detriment to biodiversity (they didn’t call it as such, and relies on archival narratives and newspapers) by the fragmented agriculture in Dordogne in the 4 decades around the turn of the 19th-20th century.

    The CAP in the current form supports large scale intensive (and often monoculturall) agriculture. The question to me is if it is more detrimental.than fragmented, extensive agriculture (there doesn’t seem to be much research on this, or I’m using the wrong keywords). The second question whether the threshold that the CAP sets is appropriate or not, or if there should be programmes that compensate for the effects of such a direction in agriculture on biodiversity.

  5. @Alec

    Given the current unabated rate of climate change, we will all be eating different fish sooner rather than later. Brexit won’t be changing that.

    The good old Cod and Salmon and other cold water species may have nowhere to go as the North Atlantic warms up further.

  6. Alec

    “For treasonous betrayal, one must first define what it is that is being betrayed.”

    Nothing has been betrayed yet which is why if you bothered to read my two original posts, I said whilst sympathising with her comments i could not go along with them ………….yet!

    However, if by any means Brexit is stopped from happening then I will think it an appropriate word along with undemocratic and unpatriotic.

    Anyway thanks for admitting that “both have perfectly good comprehension skills – they’re not stupid.”

    Makes a change from your usual “numpti, idiot, stupid comment” that i have had from time to time from you.

  7. Andrew111
    “Here in Britain it is mostly shoals of herring, showing how much we used to eat Kippers for breakfast”

    Ah yes that traditional old song written in the late 1950s.


    A couple more-somewhat more academic -for you :-

    ( you might find the second particularly interesting )

  9. @JIB – not necessarily so – see –

    Parts of the N Atlantic are cooling. due to the Greenland and Arctic melt pushing cold water further south. At present this is more restricted to the western side, but at times the cold sink has affected parts closer to us. In 2017 the gulf stream was reported to be at it’s weakest known point. This will give us masses of other things to worry about, but I wouldn’t be too sure that cod will be entirely out of our reach just yet.

  10. @EOTW – you might be interested in this more recent report –

    The Godfrey review was commissioned by Gove, and while it was expressly guided away from judging the efficacy of the current culls, it pulls few punches.

    Culling is identified as a form of control with some benefits in limited circumstances, but overall the report finds that culling won’t cure the problem and other industry based solutions are required.

    Indeed, on suggestion is to reduce the 100% value compensation farmers get paid for bTB slaughterings, or moving this onto an insurance basis, because the report found strong evidence of a culture of laziness when it came to basic protection measures.

    The thinking was based on research that showed if farmers stood the cost of losses, they would move pretty sharpish to do the things they should have been doing for years (like not buying in stock from bTB risk areas).

    It is another pretty devastating report on the inability of the farming sector to address it’s own problems, but this is what you get from a highly subsidised industry.

    BSE – ‘blame someone else’. Like with Brexit, they’ll vote for it, in the expectation that the government will bail them out and/or consumers pay more.

  11. @ CHRISLANE1945 – “On J Corbyn; I think he will not resign even after the next GE”

    I hope you are right, although I said that when LAB folks re-elected him for the 2nd time!

    @ TOH – It’s amazing how Remainers continually make out Leavers didn’t know what they voted for. It was a very simple question.

    Now I’ll admit your couldn’t put down every possible scenario onto a ballot slip and we had to trust our politicians to deliver the best deal they could – with No Deal being better than a Bad Deal.

    This is why I refer to polling info (such as YG “betrayal” post) to get a feel for what the public at large, consider to be “close enough” to what they consider “Leave” means. It avoids the n=1 sample or bias source “anecdote”.

    Given this is a polling site, it is quite staggering how many Remain folks insist on projecting their views rather than using polling info!

  12. @ ALEC – I’m glad you looked back through my old posts to help finally educate yourself, always happy to help.

    We did a great job between us in busting a whole bunch of Remainer l!es and myths, thanks for taking the time – I hope others learnt something.

    There are a final “nuggets” to take from the EU-Japan deal though. Given how far you came y’day, I’ll pose the questions and give you a chance to show how much you have now learnt about EU and rWorld trade.

    1/ Why was it that the EU-Japan deal finally got wrapped up so quickly?
    (hint: was it as broad and deep as they hoped, if not what did they drop in order to have a “slimmed down” agreement)

    2/ How does that impact UK versus say Germany given our relative sector based export strengths and approach to trade surpluses?
    (hint: you might actually have to look at what we trade with each country)

    3/ Did we manage to trade with Japan before 1Feb’19 (and what would be the absolute worst case default from 30Mar’19)
    (simple yes/no followed by three letters starting with W and ending in TO)

    4/ What options might be better than WTO
    a/ As a stop-gap
    b/ As a final destination (that is better than photocopy of EU-Japan EPA deal)

    5/ Name at least one country on at least three different continents where we have already cranked up the “photo-copier” and agreed with said country to “roll over” a previous Association Agreement, EPA or Comprehensive FTA (for a bonus point specify which kind of “trade deal” it is and comment on the depth-scope of that agreement and how that relates to the kind of trade with do with each country)

    If you get stuck on any of those, keep digging through my old posts as I’m pretty sure I’ve answered them all before.

    If you’re still stuck, just ask as some important Real World info that other on “Planet Remain” might not have read in the Guard!an ;)

  13. Fish in folk songs have a wider menu than just herring, though many Scots songs in the repertoire reflect 18th century conditions.

    As well as Lady Nairne’s “Caller Herrin’ “, she also wrote “Caller O’u” about the cheap and plentiful oysters from the Forth.

    Among other reasons for the dominance of herring in the Scottish diet in the 19th century was that the Scots fishing fleet had concentrated on herring to be salted and sold to West Indian plantation owners to feed the slaves.

    With the abolition of slavery in 1834, that market diminished enormously, and the home market much more important.

  14. @EOTW – on the Godfrey report again, some notes:

    It does accept that badgers can infect cattle, although cattle to badger infection is more prevalent, and the principle cause of spread is from cattle movements. They find that England suffers from a very high volume of cattle movements, but even these can’t be fully quantified because of new government regulations allowing movements between non-contiguous holdings within a 10 mile distance without official notification. (Eg farmers can move cattle between their fields within 10 miles without reporting – even in high bTB risk areas).

    They report that the bTB test is much less effective than the 80% efficiency Defra claim (eg it identifies 80% of infections) with the research suggesting only 50 – 60% of infections are successfully identified. This means that there are far more infected cattle movements than at first thought. They recommend using a more sensitive test that is currently available in the bTB area. This would identify more cases, but also bring more false positives. Farmers don’t like using it because of this, and as a result have prolonged bTB outbreaks. [The more sensitive test is in use in most other EU countries].

    The report finds that culling of badgers has some effect on reducing bTB if done on a large scale, but it is a high risk strategy and there is strong evidence that edge areas see increases in infections. Culling also increases the proportion of badgers with bTB, such that infection rates recover unless continuous culling is adopted.

    The report says it is highly desirable to move away from badger slaughter to non lethal control in wildlife populations (eg vaccination) and that there is no evidence of bTB persisting in badger populations over the long term – if local cattle herds are cleaned up.

    Farmers and the farming industry get a polite pasting in the report. Apart from cattle movements, the lack of attention to biosecurity is highlighted, and the report argues for reduced compensation or for payments to be contingent on levels of movements and effective biosecurity (eg farmers don’t get paid for slaughtered stock if they don’t take appropriate measures).

    Re-infection of culled herds is often taken to be the caused by wildlife reservoirs, but recent research indicates the infection can reside in pastures and slurry – so simply culling and then restocking doesn’t work, if you’ve just spread bTB infected slurry all over the same pastures.

    The report suggests that while all of these factors have been discussed for years, the false focus on badgers has distorted the research funding away from on farm activities, which means the wrong questions are being asked.

    Godfrey provides a pretty complete dismantling of the NFU case on culling, which makes reading it even more depressing.

  15. Independent reporting a BMG poll

    The poll by BMG Research found that the public also favoured a delay, possibly to prepare for a second referendum, while 33 per cent would back a no-deal exit, even if it hits the economy, and 14 per cent did not know.

    The poll found nearly half (49 per cent) believed a no-deal Brexit would be an economic catastrophe that would do lasting damage to the country. Some 28 per cent disagreed with the statement.

    Asked if they would support a final vote, whether a deal is reached or not, 50 per cent backed the idea, while 32 per cent opposed it.

    The public, it would seem, might endorse the backbench proposal that Alec posted on last night.

  16. @ COLIN (Others) – I’ll relink the detailed AHDB study showing opportunities and threats from Brexit.

    On a previous thread you mentioned the report did not cover the HMG assistance aspects and I didn’t get around to a reply at the time. That report was not the place to cover post CAP regime, etc but it is obviously a very important area.

    I haven’t been following the minutae post-Brexit “assistance” plans that HMG are proposing other then knowing they are p1ss poor (vague) and very time limited. Hence no agri-food business will be able to make plans and many will obviously fear the worst case of UFT trade and zero HMG assistance.

    Although that worst case is v.v.v.unlikely I do sympathise with agri-food businesses – we all want clarity and certainty, even if it is not all “sunlit uplands” we do need to adjust to change.

    IMHO Gove is being deliberately “slow” as he’s aware of the cross-CON views and engaged in future leader/PM manoeuvers (ie trying to be everything to everyone and hence not doing anything to upset anyone).

    In fairness to him the whole “Brexit fog” is making it difficult for everyone and we’ll want to dangle the carrot of macro substitution of EU agri-food imports in order to get “good” trade deals (agri-food trade politically punches way above its economic weight and that helps UK trade negotiations with many countries)

    If anyone has a good link to post Brexit replacement for CAP and other govt assistance could they post it. I’m happy to dig out the WTO info that gives us huge room to “assist” our farmers and go through the political ideology debate but I’d be keen to see if I’d missed some HMG info.

  17. Link to the basic HMG info for “No Deal” here:

    AHDB report and more Brexit info here:

    in one word: inadequate!

  18. @Trevor – like I say, reams of pointless chaff. Your confident predictions turned out to be completely wrong, so you pivot and imagine you were talking about something completely different.

    Bottom line is that no, we won’t have a trade deal with Japan if we leave on March 29th with no deal, like you confidently stated, the Japanese have strongly indicated that even if the EU deal isn’t as deep as we wanted, the UK one will be worse, and no,. the photocopier wasn’t much use in the end.

    The rest is just chaff – but you know that already.

  19. LASZLO

    I didn’t respond to your post-for which thanks.

    Of course your @”It is obvious to me that organised human activity reduces biodiversity ” is at the heart of things.

    Europe’s population has increased by77% since 1940. That is a lot more humans to feed on our Continent.

    The Treaty of Rome (1957) Article 39.1 set out the objectives of the CAP: to increase productivity through technical progress and the best use of the factors of production . ( WIKI)

    So it is no surprise that the CAP which followed ( 1962) led to Farming intensification. That was its purpose after WW2

    The criticism is that it took five decades before EU policy makers responded to increasing evidence of the adverse effects on Biodiversity. By the time they woke up to it the damage had been very severe.

    And even that criticism can be met by a shrug & the observation that unanticipated & adverse side effects are not unknown after Legislators have made their decrees from Ivory Towers , & real people in the real world implement them.

    The real criticism is that once they -at last-understand the damage they have wrought, so often the same legislators get mitigation wrong too:-

  20. TW

    @”Gove is being deliberately “slow”

    Even my politically Left , Environmental Consultant son continues to congratulate Gove through clenched teeth.

  21. Hang on a mo, Brexit is supposed to be easy and it’s going to be great:

    There is increasing international business concern about the prospect of a no-deal Brexit. The Japan Business Council in Europe, a body that represents the European arms of 85 Japanese companies including Fujitsu, Hitachi, Toyota, Honda and Panasonic, said its members were preparing for the “severe consequences” of leaving the EU without a deal.

    “A no-deal exit would bring severe consequences not only to our member companies directly, but also to our supply chains and customers,” said Lars Brückner and Graham Holman, joint heads of the council’s Brexit task force. “It would therefore have a series of negative impacts on the economy and citizens more broadly. JBCE member companies are speeding up and finalising contingency planning in preparation for a no-deal Brexit.

    “This affects a broad range of business and support activities, including supply chain management and logistics, customs and duties, regulatory and compliance, data flows and transfer, HR and employment and finance and investment.”

  22. Pete

    That level of increased inequality will, at least, reduce life expectancy – which might please those concerned about there being too many humans.

  23. Colin

    Thanks for the further links. I’m busy with a report (with a deadline of tomorrow 4 pm), so I only looked at the Hungarian one.

    It is correct, and widely reported (migratory birda). It is related to the intensification of agriculture (and climate change). Some background (if you are interested). The monoculture intensive agriculture in Hungary is largely a 1970s development, but as it was no particularly export oriented (apart from animal husbandry, which was fragmented), its areas were restricted (and counterbalanced by very strong natural reserve regulations – otherwise many of the birds would have been extinct n Hungary such as cormorant, great bustard). The collapse of the co-operatives in the first half of the 1990s first resulted in fragmentation, then an extremely quick (and invisible) concentration by the new elites, and mainly the German agro-food business). In absence of the regulatory framework of protecting natural reserves, and the general decline of the standards of living in the villages from 2006 took away more habitat (collecting wood from private forests is illegal, but exercised – Marx’s first major article was about this :-) ). The land privatisation since 2010 accelerated the concentration, intensification and monoculturalist agriculture.

    Just to see the effects: Hungary ran out of potato for the first time this month. In absence of labour force there was a huge loss of Apple harvest. Again for the first time the Apple juice processors didn’t have enough quality apple so they are importing.

    A left-wing research group (they are a wee bit too ideological) estimated the loss of about one million fruit trees in Hungary in the last 15 years.

    NOw , returning to the linked article. It says that the effects of the CAP regulation needs to be monitored, not that those regulations are the cause.

    Just one more observation, biodiversity seems to be very sensitive to the question. In the areas between the river Danube and river Tisza the number of large mammals (boar, deer roebuck) keep on increasing nd now they appear in places never observed earlier (it is linked to agriculture again).

    Thanks for the links, Colin, again, will read them

  24. Sam

    Yes. I’m aware of the history.

    In the context I was commenting on, however, In 1834 (which was when manumission actually took place) and when slaveowners were very generously compensated for their “property” loss, they no longer had an economic incentive to keep the former slaves alive.

    Hence, they stopped buying food for them.

  25. It is pleasing that last night we had a civilised discussion on the impact of the EU, via CAP, on biodiversity decline. There was a range of opinions, but some respect for the thinking behind even the more divergent options.

    Laszlo made some telling comments as an outside observer, including the lack of meta-studies on biodiversity decline, and Colin usefully put in some writings that approached a meta-study. But that SAC study of 2011 didn`t really try to analyse the findings of the hundreds of individual studies that touch on biodiversity, rather it reviewed the evolution and progress of the CAP and government schemes related to conservation.

    It would be a brave person or team that attempted what is really required – pinpointing which habitats are suffering most, and what pattern of land-holdings is most resilient to decline and what system of payments gives best effects for conservation or best value for money.

    A problem many will not appreciate is that biodiversity is the sum of many different assessments on different fauna and flora. These assessments need specialists in birds, bryophytes, ferns, fish, flowering plants, insects, lichens, mammals etc etc. And balancing the value of a bird to a bryophyte species is not simple, and to some extent is affected by the views of many non-scientists. If I give more value to birds than bryophytes I fear an intervention from our resident bryologist on UKPR.

    ON, by bringing up Strathnaver and wet desert, highlighted a key aspect. The term desert suggests an environment that is very lacking and very uniform, and it came to be used as a criticism of the treeless wet peat moorland of NW Scotland. The vegetation was and is very lacking in diversity of higher plants, just heather, heaths, bog asphodel, cotton grass grow over wide areas. But it has many species of liverworts, mosses (especially Sphagna) and often lichens. In total biodiversity it is somewhat lower than the average for habitats, but if lower plants were disregarded, then it would be ranked very low.

    In UK conservation thinking pre-EU, these wet deserts had not been given high priority – we had a considerable amount of the habitat, and some of it was being utilised for ambitious afforestation schemes in the 1950s-1970s that became a taxation dodge. But when habitats were re-assessed within the EU, its value rose. The UK had a large proportion of the total amount of wet desert in the EU, and in the EU total-area terms, it was a rare habitat.

    Likewise, the “Atlantic Oakwoods” of the far west of the Highlands – Glen Nant, Sunart, etc, became a very valued habitat in EU thinking, due both to their EU rarity and their richness of species. Accordingly much EU money came in to clear rhododendrons that were having a bad impact on ground flora and overall biodiversity.

    A big question is will the UK return to pre-EU thinking post Brexit, and abandon the Habitat Directive. I hope not.

  26. OLDNAT

    “The public, it would seem, might endorse the backbench proposal that Alec posted on last night.”

    Or they might not, from memory there is other polling showing that people don’t want another vote, or delay. I guess one believes the poll that suits one. Remember that the Independent is running a campaign to get another referendum and AW has suggested we take such polls with a pinch of salt.

  27. @Alec

    Thanks for the information and links. Pretty much confirms what I had read elsewhere.

  28. Anyone got a list of countries increasing trade with us after we Brexit?

  29. ToH

    “AW has suggested we take such polls with a pinch of salt.”

    I can’t recall the precise context of Anthony’s saline comment, but I doubt that he intended it to cover

    any poll by BMG or

    any poll published by a newspaper with a political stance

    (which would mean users of this site sprinkling salt to such an extent that bio-diversity would significantly deteriorate)

    Whether the Independent has correctly reported the BMG poll may well be another matter. We’ll know when the tables are published.

    Regular users of this site seldom “believe” a single poll, but looking at a poll and discussing its potential implications makes a welcome change here!

    Only the most partisan of posters would suggest that dismissing a poll, whose conclusions they dislike, would be good practice.

  30. OLDNAT

    “Only the most partisan of posters would suggest that dismissing a poll, whose conclusions they dislike, would be good practice.”

    I agree but suspect most have done it at some time or another.

  31. @OLDNAT

    TOH seems to be doing the exact same thing that he accuses the Independent of doing, but in reverse!

  32. Nearly French,
    I agree, overprotective parents are a problem in many areas of life..

    I don’t think I said anything about traditional folk songs. Indeed I interpreted Nearly French to be talking about the post war era, which was when the herring fishery went into steep decline up to the ban of 1977. That was what Ewan McColl was lamenting of course.
    I am not an expert on fishing history. British fishermen were in trouble in the NSea and Iceland long before the EU, as evidenced by the Cod Wars. I was a regular visitor to Newfoundland in the 80’s and 90’s and saw at first hand the devastation to communities as the cod fishery collapsed there. Now I see that sustainable cod and herring fishing can now return around Britain, which possibly shows the CFP has delivered something worthwhile…

  33. @Pete – “Anyone got a list of countries increasing trade with us after we Brexit?”

    The technical term you are looking for is ‘reshoring’. :)

  34. Good evening all from a breezy and mild Winchester.

    More Brexit sun shine

    The same happened during the Scottish independence referendum. Large corporations threatened to bolt from Scotland and relocate elsewhere in the event of a Yes vote. Supermarket bosses were queuing up at the steps of number 10 to warn Scots of impending doom & gloom at the checkouts if they voted Yes.

    So I have to say, if large corporations start to bolt from the UK because of a major constitutional change then it doesn’t really bode well for indy ref 2. Why go through all the upheaval with endless negotiations and legal challenges that independence would inevitably bring?

    When living in Scotland I voted Yes and after voting for Brexit and seeing the hassle major constitutional change brings then the last thing I would want is to see the Scots go though the amount of cr#p that we had to endure because of Brexit.

    Don’t get me wrong, I have no Bregrets with Brexit…deal or no deal/


    “AW has suggested we take such polls with a pinch of salt”

    I think AW also said “the only poll that counts is the poll on polling day”
    Well we had our poll on the 23 June 2016 and we voted to leave so all other polls with regards to Brexit are not worth the paper they are written on.

  36. Allan Christie

    “all other polls with regards to Brexit are not worth the paper they are written on.”

    You are on the wrong site.

  37. OLDNAT

    Not at all….Polls with regards to political parties and where they stand for upcoming GE’s are fine but why poll endlessly on something we have already voted for?

  38. @Andrew111 – this link might be of interest –

    It’s from Nature, so very respectable in terms of scientific credibility, but is open access. Figure 2a really tells the story of a precipitous decline from a pre WW2 peak. There is a particularly sharp period of decline which roughly matches the introduction of the CAP after joining the EU, but interestingly this also matches the huge increase in what they term the ‘fishing power’ of the E&W fleet.

    I think most people would agree that the CAP was a failure, in conservation terms, but it’s quite difficult on the evidence to argue that the CAP alone bear responsibility for what has happened, as the evidence suggests a more long term decline under the UK regime as well.

  39. trigguy,
    “Historians are going to love this era.”

    Its far from over. if we remain now, it will go down as an absolutely extraordinary era when one political party raised the idea of brexit, facilitated it and then stopped it.

    If we leave, there will be 10 years of further negotiations, and then the likelihood of rejoining (quite possibly after not really leaving)

    The Other Howard,
    “. Many share my view that there is little to worry about in the long term from a No Deal (WTO) exit.”

    Indeed you are right, that many share this view. My view is that the government is dead scared you are right, because these people are in for a very nasty surprise if government does what they have asked be done.

    the Trevors,
    “Our trade with Japan is quite small”

    Arent we expecting to be importing nissan cars from them soon?

    ” a no-deal Brexit would not “be the end of the world””

    Well I’m glad it isnt going to be nuclear armageddon and evolution starting from scratch with bacteria.

    Ronald Olden,
    “appear to have been a noticeable shift to the Tories (or more correctly away from Labour)”

    I think the polling shows a move away from BOTH main parties…

    “General state of the countryside is poor on CAP farms, poorly mIntained or abandoned hedgerows, rivers and streams poached to hell etc, rivers full of sh*t and silt.Yes, good farmers do join the Agri Environment schemes..”

    Those schemes ARE part of the CAP, and the Uk government has considerable flexibility in devising a unique scheme how the money in the Uk gets spent. They have chosen to do it the way they have now, so one wonders what might make them do it differently in the future.

    But if you simply withdraw subsidy, as seems to me most likely since the Uk government does not believe in subsidising anything, do you really think farmers with less income will be more inclined to spend time looking after hedges and rivers? If you break the link between the money and growing some sort of crop, do you think they might just decided the crops are not profitable, and just take the money and grow nothing?

  40. @Alec – so you can’t answer simple questions and resort to insults :-) :-)

    You’d best to stick to badgers and chaff!

    @Pete – “Anyone got a list of countries increasing trade with us after we Brexit?”

    Only someone with a time machine :-) :-)

  41. @Danny

    I’m not talking about withdrawing greening subsidy, in fact I’m saying make all subsidies linked to environmental and public wellbeing outcomes.

    The EU model is box ticking first, outcomes only allowed if they meet the bureaucratically dictated criteria!

    We can do So much better after Brexit with Agri.

  42. OLDNAT
    @Among other reasons for the dominance of herring in the Scottish diet in the 19th century was that the Scots fishing fleet had concentrated on herring to be salted and sold to West Indian plantation owners to feed the slaves.
    With the abolition of slavery in 1834, that market diminished enormously, and the home market much more important.

    I can assure you that “salt fish” consumption did not diminish with the abolition of slavery in the West Indies and it was not just ‘fed to slaves’. I’m from a Barbadian white planter family and I grew up on it. Condensed and evaporated milk, loose Red Rose tea, corned beef and salt fish were pre-refrigeration staples in the Colonies and are still around today.

    re: the article you linked to about abolition. This touches a nerve with me as someone whose family were up to their necks in the merde.I don’t think it does anyone any favours to twist history like that with a topic as important as this.
    A little background helps: If you go to Lagos in Portugal you can see the slave market where the European story of enslaving Africans all began. The British got to slavery quite late (1640’s) it all kicked off in Barbados. The first colonists grew cotton (unsuccessfully) and used indentured irish, Scottish, poachers, Royalists, even Monmouth rebels at first who were ‘Barbadosed’ by judge Jeffries. Some poor souls even volunteered and sold themselves, If you survived the indentureship (a 50:50 chance of that), you got ten acres of land. You were called a ‘ten acre man’ and that’s how my family got to Barbados in 1647 (and ultimately became quite substantial planters). The Dutch and some Iberian Jewish families sailed away from a war with Portugal in northern Brazil and arrived with something they called ‘Pernambuco’, the system to use African slaves and Dutch windmills to grow and grind sugar (hence we say ‘mashing cane’ it comes from their machines, their ‘machinatos’. The very first big sugar planters in the British Empire were Dutchmen, a man called Courteen and another called Richard Drax, who would ultimately become an MP for the same constituency as his namesake still is today (incredibly). This current one lives in Drax Hall, built on sugar money from the original Drax hall plantation in Barbados (and a later one in Jamaica). Once the British got going they excelled and many of the stately homes in the UK were financed with sugarcane money (The quasi-royal Lascelles family’s Harewood house for example. They were huge landowners in Barbados as was a certain Sherlock Holnes actor’s family, the Cumberbatches). BUT BUT BUT the British Empire WAS an early mover on the abolition of the slave trade (in1807, the Royal Navy went to war with America over it) AND on abolition. The Weslian and Moravian churches were really important catalysts because unlike the Anglican Church at first, they started christening/baptizing/marrying slaves and this prompted the moral question of the day: ‘is it a sin to enslave someone with a SOUL?’ Wilberforce was a hated man in Barbados and the planters attacked the Weslian churches.
    The British Empire profited enormously from Slavery but it was also ahead of France (1848) the Netherlands (1863) The US (1865) Spain (1880’s) and it put immense pressure on other countries to follow suit.

    if I haven’t lost you half way through this post, as a historian, I thought you might be interested to know that there was an actual battle between Roundheads and Cavaliers in Barbados. The Island was Royalist largely because the king allowed trade with the Netherlands and didn’t want to intervene too much in the islanders affairs. Cromwell sent a fleet when they declared I dependence (130 years or so before America). When the island capitulated the treaty signed spoke of ‘not being taxed whiteout representaition’ and a hundred years on George Washington visited with his brother (who had consumption and Barbados had better doctors at the time as it was sort of the Dubai of the day). He may have taken these words back with him and used them later.
    OK I’ll stop now :) One last snippet: the grapefruit was created in Barbados.

  43. @ Colin – most farmers I know want to meet Green Gove with clenched something, it might involve his teeth :0

    “A little less conservation, a little more action, please”
    swing low was more popular today but one for Elvis fans ;)

    NB I/they have no issue with protecting the environment just the total lack of clarity and certainty that they are providing to a sector that could have so much to gain from Brexit.

  44. TW

    Farmers will have to get used to it-particularly “Big ” Farmers.

    They have been given certainty-till 2027.

  45. David Colby

    Thanks for that. I didn’t know the origin of grapefruit.

    As to salt herring, I’m afraid the Scottish fish export data suggests that there was a significant fall off in the years following manumission,

    For the Scots fish processing industry, that was a blessing in disguise. Since the plantation managers were not that concerned about the quality of the product fed to their slaves. Consequently, Scottish salt herring quality was poor, and the European market much preferred the Dutch salt herring.

    The loss of the W Indies market produced a technique change that soon had Scots salt herring much the preferred product, both at home, in Europe, and throughout the Empire.

    I wouldn’t have bothered to relate this history, except to demonstrate that your understanding of the fishing industry is somewhat lacking.

  46. I was with you all the way until

    “the grapefruit was created in Barbados”


  47. For Old Nat (9.27 pm last night) and others concerned with UK Wild Land

    I promised ON a response on the controversial development of a wind farm SW of Altnaharra.

    The site for the 22 turbines is SW of Altnaharra, and west of the single-track A road down to Lairg. It is “wet desert” but not in a designated conservation area, unlike much of the surrounding uplands in Sutherland.

    I haven`t walked the site, but believe it is not wet enough, and lacking in bog pools, to be considered important by SNH. I did make vegetation assessments c. 1990 on ground I believe is very similar a little further south, around extensive conifer blocks near the A 836. These had been planted from the 1950s to the 1970s by FC and commercial groups, many spurred on latterly by tax-avoidance schemes. Unfortunately a main species planted, Lodgepole pine, was unsuited to the wet peaty ground and suffered badly from windblow.

    So the failed plantations along the A road are not a pretty sight, and many would argue that turbines are no worse. However, the windblown blocks are gradually being cleared away, some good Sitka is being harvested meantime, and soon the landscape will/could look more wild.

    Opponents of the turbine development, the John Muir Trust and many outdoor Scots, also argue that part of the site has been designated by the ScotGov as Wild Land with views to be conserved. On the other hand supporters are pleased that some jobs will be created in a county very lacking in full-time jobs.

    To me, it was a hard decision, but on balance I disagree with the SNP government decision to allow the development. I think there will be more jobs provided by tourism, and some potential visitors will be put off by hearing about the turbines, even without actually driving the road.

    That said, I feel the SNP government have done a good job in allowing a very substantial development of wind turbines yet have kept nearly all of them away from the most scenic areas.

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