Rather than their usual poll for the Times, this week YouGov have a full MRP model of voting intention (that is, the same method that YouGov used for their seat projection at the general election). Topline voting intention figures from the YouGov MRP model are CON 39%, LAB 34%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 5%. The fieldwork was Sun-Thursday last week, with just over 40,000 respondents.

The aim of an MRP model is not really the vote shares though, the whole point of the technique is project shares down to seat level, and project who would win each seat. The model currently has the Conservatives winning 321 seats, Labour 250, the Liberal Democrats 16 and the SNP 39. Compared to the 2017 election the Conservatives would make a net gain of just 4 seats, Labour would lose 12 seats, the Liberal Democrats would gain 4 and the SNP would gain 4. It would leave the Conservatives just shy of an overall majority (though in practice, given Sinn Fein do not take their seats and the Speaker and Deputies don’t vote, they would have a majority of MPs who actually vote in the Commons). Whether an extra four seats would really help that much is a different question.

The five point lead it shows for the Conservatives is a swing of 1.4% to the Conservatives – very small, but on a pure uniform swing it would be enough for the Tories to get a proper overall majority. The reason they don’t here is largely because the model shows Labour outperforming in the ultra-marginal seats they won off the Conservatives at the last election (a well known phenomenon – they gain the personal vote of the new Labour MP, lose any incumbency bonus from the former Tory MP. It is the same reason the Conservatives failed to gain a meaningful number of seats in 2001, despite a small swing in their favour).

For those interested in what MRP actually is, YouGov’s detailed explanation from the 2017 election is here (Ben Lauderdale & Jack Blumenau, who created the model for the 2017 election, also carried out this one). The short version is that it is a technique designed to allow projection of results at smaller geographical levels (in this case, individual constituencies). It works by modelling respondents’ voting intention based on their demographics and the political circumstances in each seat, and then applying the model to the demographics of each of the 632 seats in Great Britain. Crucially, of course, it also called the 2017 election correctly, when most of the traditional polls ended up getting it wrong.

Compared to more conventional polling the Conservative lead is similar to that in YouGov’s recent traditional polls (which have shown Tory leads of between 5-7 points of late), but has both main parties at a lower level. Partly this is because it’s modelling UKIP & Green support in all seats, rather than in just the constituencies they contested in 2017 (when the MRP was done at the last election it was after nominations had closed, so it only modelled the actual parties standing in each seat) – in practice their total level of support would likely be lower.

The Times’s write up of the poll is here, details from YouGov are here and technical details are here


546 Responses to “YouGov MRP seat projection – CON 321, LAB 250, LDEM 16, SNP 39”

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  1. WB61,
    “Theresa May cannot distinguish between the interests of the Conservative Party and the National interest as she believes the two are co-terminus,”

    I wouldnt dissent from this. The game changer though, is what do you do if you believe that there is no acceptable brexit which can deliver what was promised, and that inevitably leave voters will believe they have been utterly failed by whatever is delivered. So delivering brexit becomes a guantee of electoral failure for the party?

    “@ PTRP is eight identical posts the new record?”
    I think it probably is.

    RosieandDaisie
    “It speeds up the skimming process a treat !”
    Thats what i thought, and I dont skim PTRP as he is interesting.

    Bigfatron,
    “I agree Labour and Tories both face risks of splits, but only one of them is in government”
    The conservatives see this problem, hence their desire to cease to be in government with respect to Brexit.

  2. Hireton
    I don’t think you added anything to the point I was making, other than put a pro EU spin on what I had written. To be expected.

    Your dismissal of my point around the 2005 and Lisbon treaties and the manner in which the latter was adopted is telling. Of course it was the connivance of individual governments, with the EU and not the EU alone, to deny referenda on the issue. I didn’t perhaps make that clear.

  3. Good Evening everyone from a warming-up-Bournemouth East.
    Danny
    I think TM is correct to see the interests of the UK as being co-terminus with that of her Party, whose mission since Peel, Disraeli and Salisbury has been to keep the country safe, and she realises that many non-Tories feel that modern Labour is a threat to the safety of the country and her peoples.

  4. The Trevors, (benefits of brexit)
    “1/ Charge tariffs on the enormous trade deficit we have with EU,…
    2/ “Dangle” our trade deficit in goods (especially on agri-food)…
    3/ Relevel the playing field on state-aid…
    4/ Regulatory change….
    5/ Without FoM and with labour market tight, businesses will need to invest in skills and more productive means of production.”

    1). Dont see how it will help us charging tariffs on imported cars if our own native car industry becomes extinct. (which seem very likely post brexit). We would just all pay more in taxes. The actual trade deficit is likely to be much worse.

    2) The rest of the world might notice that with food we have the choices of either importing food, or starving. In negotiations, will we threaten to starve if they dont give us concessionary deals, or keep buying? if we do remove tariffs on imported food, Uk farmers cease trading and then we import even more. Is this acceptable? No food tariffs= trade deficit worsens.

    As to services, isnt it the case that most trade deals are not about services. The EU, much derided, has about the best services deal in the world.

    3) The EU does not in general prevent us subsidising industry. Government policy prevents us subsidising industry. Indeed much has been made by tories ATTACKING labour for the possibility they might do this. How is it conceivable the tories would change post brexit, or are you suggesting brexit guarantees labour government?

    4) regulations: usually create rights for someone. My right not to be choked by smoke from a factory, for example. Yes, cleaning up the smoke makes whatever is made in the factory more expensive and less competitive, but is it really an advantage to me to die from lung cancer?

    But also, as you say many rules are similar around the world, but adhering to one standard for the entire EU and our 27 most important trading partners, means they are identical and automatically complied with. Thats a great benefit for industry. Leaving just makes life harder for UK companies with more rules to follow. (Ours plus the EU ones they have to follow anyway to export. Whats the chance they are forced to comply with both on all they produce?)

    5) industry invest in skills. Why will it do this? It prefers to poach staff from elsewhere. No imported skilled workers and no change in GOVERNMENT investment in training means rising wage costs and less competitive industry. We import labour because it is cheaper than providing it ourselves.

  5. Chris Lane 1945

    Conservative “mission since Peel, Disraeli and Salisbury has been to keep the country safe”.

    Are you still teaching? If so, I do hope that is just your own (rather bizarre) interpretation of history, and not what you impart to your students.

  6. “2022 doh fat finger not Nostradamus. 2011.“

    ———

    Wouldn’t rule out it happening in 2022 though. (We need Dr Mibbles to be sure…)

  7. Ken Clarke on R4 any questions just said he thinks we will revoke article 50 and try again later.

    Obviously he thinks this is perfectly doable.

  8. @John B

    “I cannot understand why those who want to leave the EU cannot see that, in world terms, we stand a far better chance of getting a positive deal if we are part of a bigger block.

    But perhaps I am failing to understand something here…..”

    ———

    Well the EU might have more clout, in terms of pursuing a trade deal, but that doesn’t automatically mean they’ll use that clout in our best interests.

    They might use it to make things worse. It is the concerns on this score that lies behind some being keen to escape EU trade deals. E.g. the TTIP stuff.

    Not that I’m arguing for or against EU trade deals per se. Just pointing out that the EU having more clout doesn’t automatically guarantee a better outcome for us.

  9. Carfrew

    “Well the EU might have more clout, in terms of pursuing a trade deal, but that doesn’t automatically mean they’ll use that clout in our best interests.
    They might use it to make things worse.”

    Except that every member state (and some sub-state legislatures) can veto a trade deal that damages their interests.

    On the other hand

    Well the UK might have more clout, in terms of pursuing a trade deal, but that doesn’t automatically mean they’ll use that clout in our best interests.
    They might use it to make things worse – and the component parts of the UK can do sod all about it.

  10. @robertnewark.

    Well, let’s see.

    You essentially said that the EU forced small countries to vote again until they agreed with what the EU wanted.

    I provided factual evidence that actually small countries used their treaty power of potential veto to renegotiate the treaties as they applied to them and then their electorate approved the treaties with the changes. So in fact your interpretation of the reality of the power of member states in the EU was fundamentally flawed.

    Interestingly, when challenged your argument that it was the wicked EU to blame is suddenly widened to include the wicked governments of the member states.

  11. Hireton

    I had noted Newark’s “Of course it was the connivance of individual governments, with the EU and not the EU alone, to deny referenda on the issue.” comment.

    It seemed odd. “Connive” means “conspire to do something immoral, illegal, or harmful”.

    He may have meant the lizard people as the others in the conspiracy.

  12. @HIRETON, ROBERTNEWARK

    A small point, but one could question how solid those guarantees the Irish got on taxation were – depends whether you see the interpretation of State Aid rules on eg Apple as effectively harmonising corporation tax by other means.

  13. “So if they do get their Brexit it may well be a pyrrhic victory.”

    Some historic examples: The two parties most heavily invested in the Good Friday Agreement – the UUP and the SDLP – won the vote backing this, and have now all but disappeared.

    Labour won the battle for Scotland in 2014, and all but disappeared.

    Winning can be something of a poisoned chalice in politics. Tory Brexiters should take note.

  14. @DANNY

    Thanks for the detailed response, and particularly for rising above my unnecessary late-night sarcasm.

    Edge of Reason,
    ” they could be basically trying to deal with the fact that most of their voters want to leave but enough want to remain that without them they’d lose an election. ”

    How would that work? Last time conservatives stood on ‘no deal is better than bad deal”. Their platform was a hard brexit at any cost. As anti remain a ticket as was possible. Yet still they kept 1/4 or so of their total vote who are remain. It cant get worse than that,can it? Those had to be people who valued tribal tory (or other issues) above remain?

    I take your point, but aren’t there polling trends discussed in the last couple of threads that show that diehards are becoming more entrenched and that moderates are becoming gloomier about the likely impact of Brexit? So yes, I’d suggest it’s quite possible that many remainers who voted Tory in GE2017 are now more concerned about it.

    Yes there are also many who would vote her for next time regardless, either because Tribe or more specifically because they see the alternative government as a bigger problem than Brexit. But there don’t have to be many in my category for it to turn a narrow win into a narrow loss.

  15. EOR

    “but one could question how solid those guarantees the” Scots got on keeping and extending the powers of the Scottish Parliament.

    Depends on whether you accept the UK Supreme Court’s judgment that “we would have expected UK Parliament to have used other words if it were seeking to convert a convention into a legal rule justiciable by the courts … the purpose of the legislative recognition of the convention was to entrench it as a convention”.

    The Irish state got a much more significant concession from the EU than the Scots polity got from the UK.

  16. @OLDNAT

    Oh if you’re saying the concessions made on the eve of the 2014 vote were substantially insincere I’d agree. As an outsider it’s something I’ve suspected to have been a key part of what lay in store for the UK parties in Scotland in GE2015.

  17. carfrew,
    “Well the EU might have more clout, in terms of pursuing a trade deal, but that doesn’t automatically mean they’ll use that clout in our best interests. ”

    Doesnt the UK have a veto on allowing the deal to go ahead, unless it is totally satsified the interest of the Uk have been safeguarded? Like wallonia, was it vetoed the Canada deal?

  18. Does anyone know why parliament keeps having debates on Brexit which aren’t binding on the government? Is there any point beyond “Look at us, aren’t we virtuous”?

    Surely there are better uses of parliamentary time.

    Danny
    “So delivering brexit becomes a guantee [sic] of electoral failure for the (Tory) party?”

    I don’t think so. If they eventually manage to deliver Brexit in almost any form they might hoover up the bulk of Leave voters as all the other parties seem to support Remain. In Labour’s case their position is deliberately very ambiguous, but talk of remaining in ‘a’ Customs Union effectively means they don’t want to Leave.

  19. Quite a lot of talk about state aid and how we can do this much better if we leave. Little talk of what state aid is, and what is and isn’t allowed under EU law.

    Firstly, state aid is only state aid if it is discriminatory, so for example, a special tax concession available to all businesses – say the UK government’s current £2,000 discount off employers NI – isn’t state aid, as it applies to everyone. [In this case, I think it only applies to SME’s – which is allowable under EU law, as SME aid is one category within the General Block Exemption Rules, which allows discrimination in favour of SME’s].

    Also worth noting that RoI was found guilty of states aid over the Apple tax deal, not because of the tax deal itself, but because of the unique way that Apple’s tax base was calculated. Had this been applied to all companies, they would probably have been fine.

    Under states aid, de minimis rules apply, so anyone can get up to EU200,000 grants in any three year period. That’s a lot for many SMEs. Also allowable are a range of funding activities, including funding for regional aid, SME investment and training, aid for environmental protection, risk capital, R&D aid, training, aid for disadvantaged or disabled workers, and aid for female entrepreneurs. Allowable aid in these areas wouldn’t count towards the de minimis total.
    There are complex rules, but the sums allowable can be substantial – so long as the scheme is properly constructed.

    In short, if you wanted to favour specific companies, then in most circumstances you would have trouble getting this agreed by the commission – although if the justifications are sound, it can be done.

    If you just want a more interventionist industrial policy, with government funding or part funding good things like investment and training, or targeted development in poorer areas, states aid rules allow this, so long as you schemes are properly designed.

    As was said upstream, we often hear that states aid rules prevent us from doing X or Y, but usually it doesn’t. We just don’t want to do X or Y, but need an excuse why we don’t.

  20. @PASSTHEROCKPLEASE, NEILJ, STATGEEK

    I don’t think it was UKIP’s GE2015 showing that gave us a referendum, wasn’t Cameron already committed by winning? It’s the 26% that they got in winning the 2014 Euros that spooked people in the established parties. Obviously that was on about half the turnout of a GE or the referendum, but with over 4 million votes then apprehension of how high that number could go on a GE turnout seems quite healthy, as does concern of how much impact it could have in lost seats.

  21. EOR

    “the concessions made on the eve of the 2014 vote were substantially insincere”

    Indeed. But my point was deeper than that. Unions vary in their levels of honesty (though there will always be tensions between the different levels of governance).

    Smaller polities (especially if they try to exploit variance in rules to advantage themselves) are likely to find that their schemes are circumvented as others are disadvantaged.

    The difference lies in whether any union protects the fundamental interests of its members.

    The EU has demonstrated that it does. The UK has demonstrated that it doesn’t.

    Hence why I remain committed to a union – EU – that (despite its many faults) is preferable to one that disregards any constitutional provision for its members to protect their interests.

  22. @oldnat

    “Except that every member state (and some sub-state legislatures) can veto a trade deal that damages their interests.”

    ——

    Well you say that, but it isn’t necessarily that clear cut. For example…

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/sep/06/transatlantic-trade-partnership-ttip-canada-eu

    “TTIP – the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – appears to be dead. The German economy minister, Sigmar Gabriel, says that “the talks with the United States have de facto failed”. The French prime minister, Manuel Valls, has announced “a clear halt”. Belgian and Austrian ministers have said the same thing. People power wins. For now.

    But the lobbyists who demanded this charter for corporate rights never give up. TTIP has been booed off the stage but another treaty, whose probable impacts are almost identical, is waiting in the wings. And this one is more advanced, wanting only final approval. If this happens before Britain leaves the EU, we are likely to be stuck with it for 20 years.”

    “It’s not clear whether national parliaments will be allowed to veto this treaty. The European trade commissioner has argued that there is no need: it can be put before the European parliament alone. But even if national parliaments are allowed to debate it, they will be permitted only to take it or leave it. The contents are deemed to have been settled already.“

    (And of course it’s possible they may find other ways to escape the veto in future. Part of the problem anyway, is that of being locked in, so it’s harder to change it later. The government of the day agrees to something – and declines the veto – because it suits their interests, but the next government has greater difficulties changing it, because it’s not just up to the U.K. parliament).

    But the ins and outs of trade deals is more the terrain of others. I was just answering the question as to why some folk have issues with EU trade deals even though the EU have more clout.

  23. @TW Thanks for your answer. I agree with you about the nature of our basic problems, I agree with Danny that leaving the EU won’t solve them.

    As I see it, we have a trade deficit because we have an ageing, and under-skilled workforce, invest in our houses rather than our industries, and have become accustomed to living beyond our means. I can’t see Brexit solving this. Instead it will harm most of our industries, raise the prices of what we want. reduce inward investment, and cut off a supply younger, skilled labour. In short things will become more expensive and our industry will be increasingly less able to earn us the money to pay for them

    Given the industrial harm that will occur we will not be in a good position to take advantage of any trade deals, should these eventually materialise. In practice, the only place of any economic size that might be interested in lower food tariffs in the UK would be the USA, and I can’t see them wanting us to outcompete their services or making up for trade we lose with the EU. As the Japanese example shows, we are not in a good position to make trade deals with others, and they are likely to be less advantageous than those that might have been made by the EU.

    Time, as they say, will tell. Only I hope it doesn’t because I don’t think I will like the message.

  24. @Oldnat

    “On the other hand
    Well the UK might have more clout, in terms of pursuing a trade deal, but that doesn’t automatically mean they’ll use that clout in our best interests.
    They might use it to make things worse – and the component parts of the UK can do sod all about it.“

    ——

    Well quite! I was surprised John B didn’t see this, or that other Natters didn’t point it out. If we were to say to John B, “why don’t Scots folk stay in the U.K. because the UK have more clout, you would soon see problems with that argument! But not so much when it comes to the EU, even though the voice in the EU is rather diluted in comparison with U.K.

  25. @EOR – “..depends whether you see the interpretation of State Aid rules on eg Apple as effectively harmonising corporation tax by other means.”

    See my previous post. The decision against the Apple deal wasn’t because it was using Corp Tax as states aid. It was because Apple specifically was receiving states aid by the unique application of an interpretation that applied to them only.

    This is very important, as you shouldn’t confuse this case as being a general attack on RoI company tax policy. That is not in the EU’s powers.

  26. @ALEC

    Ta for that. I see the distinction you’re making, but in some ways it feels like quite a fine one? Yes the issue of consistency/discrimination makes sense, but at the same time if the EU can say that their calculation of Apple’s tax base in RoI supercedes the one that Revenue made then I can see why some people would say that’s not having an independent tax policy anymore.

  27. Pete B,
    “Danny
    “So delivering brexit becomes a guantee [sic] of electoral failure for the (Tory) party?”

    I don’t think so. If they eventually manage to deliver Brexit in almost any form they might hoover up the bulk of Leave voters as all the other parties seem to support Remain”

    you miss my point. If Brexit is a demonstrable failure, voters (all voters, leave and remain) will turn against the party which brought brexit about. And leavers will hate the tories all the more if tories tell them they only did what leave asked.

    If an MP believes brexit will cause major economic problems, then he knows that if he supports it he will be blamed at the next election by voters and lose his seat. So he is not going to allow brexit to happen.

  28. hahahaahahahaha Bercow is brilliant

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewWzOV29oqE&app=desktop

  29. @Danny

    “Doesn’t the UK have a veto on allowing the deal to go ahead, unless it is totally satsified the interest of the Uk have been safeguarded? Like wallonia, was it vetoed the Canada deal?“

    ——

    I replied to Oldnat on a similar point, if it’s of interest to ya!

  30. Carfrew

    “even though the voice in the EU is rather diluted in comparison with U.K.”

    You have it exactly wrong!

    Scotland (or Wales or NI or any English region [other than the City of London] for that matter) has precisely zero voice in the UK.

    Were the UK actually to be a “union” of its component parts in a political sense, then those parts would have a voice that required attention and, on critical issues, could veto the “union” decision.

    Brit Nats talk of the “UK Union”, but actually mean a unitary state. Their UK is no more a union than contemporary England or Scotland are unions.

    Once upon a time they were, largely enforced through military might and subsequently by state sponsored propaganda.

    Those propaganda strategies were pretty successful in creating polities that exist to this day.

    The Brit Nats were fairly crap at the process, concentrating on loyalty to “the Empire” rather than creating an actual unitary state.

    Creation and bonding myths are powerful, if they are well created and ruthlessly reinforced.

    Sadly for the Brit Nats, they were p1ss poor at that, and the “Great British Bake Off” and its surrogates in the BBC contract are the best they can do.

  31. “Does anyone know why parliament keeps having debates on Brexit which aren’t binding on the government?”

    ——

    Maybe they take their cue from what dominates on here?

  32. @CARFREW

    It would go some way to explaining how many posters are so prolific during the day…maybe there are fewer retirees than assumed, and this is what Honourable Members do between performances?

  33. EOR

    “maybe there are fewer retirees than assumed, and this is what Honourable Members do between performances?

    OK Own up. Who on here is Re-Smog? Any apologists for concentration camps?

  34. @oldnat

    “You have it exactly wrong!

    Scotland (or Wales or NI or any English region [other than the City of London] for that matter) has precisely zero voice in the UK.

    Were the UK actually to be a “union” of its component parts in a political sense, then those parts would have a voice that required attention and, on critical issues, could veto the “union” decision.

    Brit Nats talk of the “UK Union”, but actually mean a unitary state. Their UK is no more a union than contemporary England or Scotland are unions.”

    ——

    That would be a compelling argument, if the presence or absence of a veto were the only means of “having a voice”.*

    There are numerous other aspects, however. For example: Parliamentary members.

    In the U.K. parliament, Scotland has 59 MPs out of 650.

    In the EU, it’s 6. Out of 751**

    There are other aspects. Would the EU have bailed out your banks? Covered for the collapse in oil prices? If you were independent and joined the EU by yourselves and got into difficulties do you fancy what happened to Greece?

    * the veto is limited anyway. E.g. when it comes to free movement.

    ** though that’s set to become 705 in the near future?

  35. @EDGE OF REASON

    “It would go some way to explaining how many posters are so prolific during the day…maybe there are fewer retirees than assumed, and this is what Honourable Members do between performances?”

    —-

    It’s plausible. (There are other candidates: Party rebuttal teams, Ruskie bots, an errant AI with multiple accounts, etc.)

  36. Carfrew,

    A voice via parliamentary members? That’s crazy talk!

  37. Carfrew

    Your response (to put it politely) is disingenuous.

    Typically, you ignore what I actually said, and create your own fanciful interpretation.

    Parliamentary representation is one aspect of having a voice, but when it isn’t even listened to, is of no effect.

    Had Ireland still been part of the UK, it’s voice would have been ignored. As an independent member of the EU, its interests were protected.

    No one suggested that the veto of a single state applied to the terms of the single market, so your comment on that is (even more that usually) utterly irrelevant and pointless. I do understand that, in your polity, nativism is a dominant concern, but not in mine.

  38. @OLDNAT

    “Your response (to put it politely) is disingenuous.

    Typically, you ignore what I actually said, and create your own fanciful interpretation.“

    ——

    No, I addressed your concerns about the veto, but you ignored what I wrote so I moved on to other aspects of “clout”.

    As I pointed out, the veto has the potential to be circumvented, and even when not it leaves us with the issue of being more locked in. There is also the point that veto tends to be a means of stopping something bad, rather than ensuring something good inevitably happens, which was more John B’s concern: that more clout is better. Which as you know from your Scots’ experience within the U.K., may not always be the case.

  39. @oldnat

    “Parliamentary representation is one aspect of having a voice, but when it isn’t even listened to, is of no effect.

    Had Ireland still been part of the UK, it’s voice would have been ignored. As an independent member of the EU, its interests were protected.“

    ——

    As with the veto, you are just taking a one-sided view.

    The truth is that SOME of the time, being in the EU protects interests. But then again, some of the time, things can wind up like Greece.

    And some of the time, being the the UK protects your interests rather more than being in the EU. – E.g. saving your banks etc.

  40. @Carfrew

    “why don’t Scots folk stay in the U.K. because the UK have more clout

    Perhaps because said clout is usually not particularly in the interests of Scots folk. The UK parliament generally likes to subvert the Scottish Parliament at every opportunity, with the help of the UK and Scottish media, of course. I’ve lost count of the number of times NHS Scotland gets misrepresented in the media, either with poor stats, or by being ‘mistakenly’ included in UK or NHS England stats.

    I said it to myself in 2014. I’d rather take my chances at competing with rUK for business, than hoping that Westminster deigns to throw some scraps from its table. My only fear of Independence would be how long it would last before the neighbours decided we were doing too well and had to stop it.

    An interesting fact I learned last night:

    “What is British Airway’s most northerly long-haul airport?”

    “London Heathrow”

    Not Glasgow, or Edinburgh, or Prestwick, or Newcastle, or Manchester, or Birmingham, or even Luton. Apparently most find flying via Schiphol easier than LHR, because while LHR does connect (in the UK you’re forced to connect to fly long-haul if LHR isn’t your home airport), it is more expensive than other connecting airports.

    It is one of countless examples of what many refer to a ‘London-centric’ attitude to politics, business, media and all manner of things.

    Now I wonder what effect Brexit will have on that? Passports (lovely colour – goes with your shoes Teresa) will be a major thing again. Costs will rise for passport controls, as UK folk will arrive at the non-EU gates in 27 countries (including Ireland).

    Anyway, I got side-tracked. What clout has Westminster or the UK used to benefit Scotland but not England (or to England’s detriment)? I can produce a list of things that benefited England, but not Scotland. One could say the same for Wales, and Northern Ireland. Or we could look at how all the infrastructure is concentrated in a 100 mile radius of London. Not all of England benefits. Only some of it. Get a map. Draw a circle. ;)

    /rant Heh!

  41. @BILL PATRICK

    “A voice via parliamentary members? That’s crazy talk!”

    ——

    Well it could happen!

    As it happens, MPs can exert influence even when outnumbered, because it constrains the government in terms of what they can get away with.

    The SNP even helped bring down a Labour government once. Bit trickier something like that happening in the EU with only 6 MEPs!

  42. Interesting to see a faction of the British far left supporting the aims and tactics of a rather mainstream faction of the British right.

    https://communist-party.org.uk/britain/2487-britain-should-leave-the-eu-on-wto-terms-communists-propose.html

    Rather reminiscent of how my parents’ generation described the politics of the 1930s.

  43. Carfrew

    You are probably trolling, since you can’t possibly be as foolish as you like to portray yourself.

    Positions taken by parliamentarians can be effective, when the Parliament is willing to listen, and recognise the validity of the arguments.

    Compare and contrast the responses of the European Parliament to Alyn Smith and Nigel Farage, but these only reflect sentiment – not power.

    If you understood anything about the constitution of the EU – then you would comprehend the different roles of the UK and EU Parliaments. By your own posts (like many in the UK) your understanding is a lamentable failure.

    Power in the EU is predominantly exercised through the Council of Ministers – not the Parliament, the Commission or the ECJ – though all of these have important roles.

    While (as one might reasonably expect) larger states have more strength (whether using QMV or not) smaller states still have considerable influence on the outcome of decisions and no single state in the union can outvote the others under any circumstances.

    Your comments on banking are, of course, misdirected. At the time of the crash, RBS and BoS were UK banks HQ’d in Scotland, not because that was their dominant area of activity, but there were internal UK benefits (eg issuing Scots notes) by doing so.

    Had Scotland been independent, then it is likely that they would have re-HQ’d to London, where their main activity was and where they said in 2014 they would go to.

    Had they remained HQ’d in Scotland and permitted to continue their behaviour (which is entirely possible) then much of their activity would have been bailed out by the foreign governments in which they were an important player (look at the bailout of UK banks by the USA), and the Scottish government would have been faced with following the Icelandic or Irish models. The latter, of course, involved an ECB bailout – which makes a nonsense of one of your previous jibes.

  44. CHRISLAINE, how many of these non Tories have you polled? I ask as someone who votes Labour, but thinks Corbyn is an idiot (just not sure if May beats him in this).

  45. Whose right on this one? (pity it wasn’t given more time).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6LVNpfES8k

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