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


1,157 Responses to “YouGov MRP seat projection – CON 321, LAB 250, LDEM 16, SNP 39”

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  1. “A figure that caught my eye this morning was the number of EU nationals working in Blighty has reduced by 61,000. ”

    And the figure for non EU nationals working in the UK has increased by 130,000.

    Was it really all about immigration?

  2. “The government will apply tariffs to food imports to protect British farmers in a no-deal scenario, the environment secretary, Michael Gove, has confirmed.”

    How does this fit with no NI border?

    And how much of a disaster will it be for UK sheep farmers (1/3rd of output sold into the EU) and NI dairy trade (export milk for processing and re-import as cheese and cream).

    I think it’s clear that no deal won’t happen, so we can all breath easy – even @Hugo.

  3. Alec

    People aren’t against immigration, they are against freedom of movement.

    We decide who comes in, not a foreign organisation.

  4. Alec

    I agree we will leave with a deal. The EU will buckle.

  5. Trevor Warne

    Those European unemployment stats are awful.

    What a waste of talent – and a sorry reminder of the foolishness of the Euro.

    What a heavy price for “integration”.

    Who will speak for the young people of the eurozone? Juncker, Tusk, Selmayr?

    Tragic.

  6. Hireton

    “Indeed, one of the many benefits of being in the EU.”

    This site brings such joy and amusement sometimes. I suggest you look at the following:-

    h ttps://www.statista.com/statistics/268830/unemployment-rate-in-eu-countries/

    Try explaining that, or this

    h ttps://www.statista.com/statistics/266228/youth-unemployment-rate-in-eu-countries/

    Clearly we have done really well compared with most others despite being in the EU. Once we have got through the initial economic hit of leaving the EU it will be fascinating to look at the comparative figures again.

  7. It’s seems odd that Honda believe that their Swindon plant can’t be adapted for next generation electric powertrain use. I mean for years it produced petrol only vehicles because Honda didn’t offer a diesel option. Then the plant adapted and was able to fit diesels. So are the adaptations for electric power units so different that it can only be done in Japan?

    I’m waiting for the first Brexit supporter to claim that the Honda factory in Japan has been subsidised by EU funding.

  8. Woodcock has issued a statement ,says he wasnt asked to join TIG and would need to be assured on their policy towards Trident and their internal disciplinary procedures !!?

  9. @ Hireton

    I’m concerned about anything that affects our planet in a negative way, Japan happen to be right in the frame just now because of recent bad decisions their government and large corporations have made. As an aside they are just as guilty as other Asian countries for the demise of many animals around the world to satisfy their demand for strange medicines and culinary “delights.”

  10. Hugo @Alec

    “People aren’t against immigration, they are against freedom of movement.

    We decide who comes in, not a foreign organisation.”

    I don’t know if you’re one of them , but I’ve seen a lot of Leavers on vox pops who seem to think that “Freedom of Movement” is one way only. The other side of “we decide who comes in” is that “they” decide whether we can go there. We now have a whole generation coming up who”ll be unable to live and work in EU countries. FoM is about pooling sovereignty not losing it.

    But actually I think you’re just wrong. Loads of people didn’t have a clue that losing freedom of movement entailed any loss of our ability to go and live in the EU. They were voting about ‘immigration’ pure and simple. That poster of refugees said it all.

  11. ROBERTNEWARK

    Is John Woodcock part of this grouping? I’ve seen no references to him in this connection.

    If you look at the Buzzfeed article I linked to on the previous page:

    https://www.buzzfeed.com/alexwickham/30-mps-labour-independent-group

    it seems that Woodcock and Ivan Lewis were both willing to join. However, given that both were suspended for sexual harrassment[1] before they decided to resign from Labour, it wouldn’t be a particularly good look to be all piously PC while the two of them were standing there.

    At least I suppose it’s saved us from lots of bad puns about The Independent Grope.

    [1] I can find less out about Lewis (though from his Wiki it looks like he’s got form) but the accusations against Woodcock sound quite stalker-ish:
    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/labour-mp-john-woodcock-suspended-12456710

  12. All the TWs

    “More Jobs, Higher Wages
    – RECORD numbers of people are IN WORK
    – Job vacancies at their highest level EVER (870,000)
    – Average earnings increase by 3.4% in 2018, HIGHEST for a decade[1]
    – 167,000 new jobs in Sep-Dec’18 alone
    – growth in employment over past year is highest amongst British nationals
    – oh, and workers in zero-hours contracts fell 57,000 (before some muppet mentions that)
    Even the Arch-Remain press can’t suppress all the good news:”

    Why should they? Or has it escaped your attention that we are, in fact, still in the EU? So all that is down to us being a member.

  13. @ GARJ

    You have to remember the impact on the environment of container ships depends on their age and condition, I’ve seen many aged vessels spewing out all sorts of crap from their chimneys whilst as sea. I seem to remember figures of a couple of thousand containers are lost at sea every year. A load were lost off the Dutch coast a few months ago, some of which contained dangerous substances. This was followed by the mysterious deaths of thousands of guillemots in the area. There are side effects.

  14. PatrickBrian
    “We now have a whole generation coming up who”ll be unable to live and work in EU countries.”

    This is total nonsense. Many people from this country lived and worked in the EU before FoM ever came about. There might be a bit more paperwork required but so what? People from all around the world live and work in the EU, so unless they make some special spiteful rule just for the UK, there will be no significant problem.

  15. ALEC

    And the figure for non EU nationals working in the UK has increased by 130,000.

    Was it really all about immigration?

    The departing EU nationals are apparently mostly from the A8 countries, which suggests that they were working in poorly paid positions. Given the difficulty of obtaining a working visa, the arrivals from outside the EU ought to be skewed towards the higher earning end of the distribution. For my part I don’t care so much about the source of immigrants, or the numbers of them arriving here, but that they earn enough to support themselves while paying enough in taxes to cover their present and future draw on government spending. There are also disproportionately high numbers of long-term resident non-EU nationals in the UK who are economically inactive, so this may also be showing some of them joining the workforce.

  16. Roger Mexico

    Thanks. I have to admit that I didn’t realise that Woodcock was a groper . I thought he had resigned because of where his constituency is and Corbyns anti nuclear stance.

    Why does Marvin Gaye spring to mind at this juncture?

    As others have highlighted, great news on the employment front, despite the EU. Why is it that the UKs success cannot be replicated by France and other EU members.

    I do wish someone would actually explain why ALL zero hours contracts are bad. They work very well for many people, including my brother in law, who since early retirement works in a care home, to give something back. That he can select the hours that are best for him, to fit in with his family, is why he can do it. Flexibility is the name of the game and of course largely answers my own question above. France Has such rigid employment laws that no one hires anyone unless they really have to. Result? Unemployment twice the UK level.

    Now, I do appreciate that some employers are unscrupulous but let’s fix that problem, not simply say all are bad and throw the baby out with the bath water.

    It seems that the Labour Party as an employer quite likes them. Usual double standards of course, no surprise there.

  17. Garj,

    “There are also disproportionately high numbers of long-term resident non-EU nationals in the UK who are economically inactive!”

    Says who?

    Disproportionate compared to what?

    Indigenous long term unemployed with low skill and educational levels?

    Stay at home middle-class housewives?

    A source would be nice because this to me has the ring of “We all know” or “This guy down the Pub said!”

    Peter.

  18. TREVORS

    Thanks for the correction. The main point to be taken from my post, though not by you, is that around 1.8 million and many more have, in the past, experienced stress that damages their health.

    Just in case you still have no notion of what I’m talking about here is another link.

    https://www.ft.com/content/d8d82ebe-9cbc-11e8-88de-49c908b1f264

  19. Pete [email protected]: “We now have a whole generation coming up who”ll be unable to live and work in EU countries.”

    This is total nonsense. Many people from this country lived and worked in the EU before FoM ever came about. There might be a bit more paperwork required but so what? People from all around the world live and work in the EU, so unless they make some special spiteful rule just for the UK, there will be no significant problem.

    I think you have the old problem of sauce for the goose being sauce for the gander.

    Any spiteful EU rule for the UK will only be a quid pro pro for the same spiteful UK rule applied to EU citizens. So if the UK does not apply any rules different to FoM, then that is what the EU will allow for UK citizens.

    But if the UK does not apply different rules from FoM, you have to ask what UK people wanted when they voted for brexit – and whether they will be content to allow FoM to continue. If they are content to allow FoM, then you are right, PatrickBrian has written total nonsense. But if UK people do want any restriction on FoM, then it is likely you who has written total nonsense.

  20. @ NORBOLD – Did you miss Osborne’s Immediate Economic Impact Analysis?

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hm-treasury-analysis-the-immediate-economic-impact-of-leaving-the-eu

    Unemployment was supposed to rise by between 520,000 and 820,000 but has been the exact opposite – we’re getting close to 1million new jobs added since Jun’16

    Project Fear was not prophetic – it was pathetic!

    @ HUGO – as we move to Ind.Rev4 then automation is the way to sustainably increase real wages and hence improve quality of life as folks will have higher disposable net incomes and can choice their personal work-life balance mix.

    With UK able to set it’s own immigration policy based on skills and not nationality then the trend we are already seeing in drop of zero-hours contracts etc should extent into other aspects of employment and production – notably skills training.

    Hopefully HMG will support the need to boost UK skills and tackle other “failed” markets like the Graduate Farms.

    We need to give our young people the skills they need to get good jobs not 50k of debt for an often worthless piece of paper.

  21. @GARJ

    The departing EU nationals are apparently mostly from the A8 countries, which suggests that they were working in poorly paid positions. Given the difficulty of obtaining a working visa, the arrivals from outside the EU ought to be skewed towards the higher earning end of the distribution. For my part I don’t care so much about the source of immigrants, or the numbers of them arriving here, but that they earn enough to support themselves while paying enough in taxes to cover their present and future draw on government spending. There are also disproportionately high numbers of long-term resident non-EU nationals in the UK who are economically inactive, so this may also be showing some of them joining the workforce.

    You may want to read this
    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/eu-workers-uk-tax-treasury-brexit-migrants-british-citizens-a8542506.html
    It calculated that non-European migrants will make a positive net contribution of £28,000 – £50,000 less than the £78,000 for EU arrivals – when the budget is balanced.

    In total, the net benefit from the class of 2016 was expected to be £26.9bn, with £19.3bn coming from EU migrants and the remaining £7.5bn from migrants from the rest of the world.

    On an annual basis, while EU migrants contribute £2,300 more than the average, each non-European migrant contributed £800 less than the average – and each UK?born adult £70 less.

  22. @bantams

    “I’m concerned about anything that affects our planet in a negative way.”

    And yet I recall you saying you wanted to buy a luxury electric car, so your extravgant consumerism is just fine?

  23. Anyway back to polling. Survation headline and “new party” have been mentioned but not sure anyone posted the tabs:

    https://www.survation.com/survation-on-behalf-of-daily-mail-final-tables/

    Table8, ignoring DK, new ref:

    Leave 48.3%
    Remain 51.7%

    (NB there has always been a small “hindsight” boost for Remain from polling co.s that ask the question in hindsight)

    They also asked about whether the gang of 7 were “right” to leave:

    Right: 56
    Not Right: 20
    DK: 24

    Net right to Leave: 36

    YG asked a similar question and had similar results, but higher DKs

    Right to Leave: 46
    Should have stayed: 13
    DK 40

    Net right to Leave: 33

    CON VI obviously have a much higher “right to Leave” and LAB VI has plurality for DK ;)

    All kinds of strange views going around about what the gang of 7 means for Brexit – Peston covering both bases, just so he can say he told us so once the dust settles!

  24. PETER CAIRNS

    Says who?

    The ONS, for one:

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/articles/ukandnonukpeopleinthelabourmarket/november2018#commentary-for-uk-born-and-non-uk-born-people

    Figure 6 is the relevant one, which shows that the employment rate for non-EU born 16-64 year olds stands at 69.3% as of last year, compared to 76.1% for the UK born, and 82.3% for the EU born. This is largely down to lower employment rates among women from outside the UK and EU, particularly in some more traditionally patriarchal communities (I believe the Migration Observatory has some stuff on this). If more of them are finding work then that’s a good thing, as not only does it reduce worklessness and poverty, but it should also help to redress the historic household income deficit suffered by some immigrant groups, while furthering integration and gender equality.

    TCO

    Any spiteful EU rule for the UK will only be a quid pro pro for the same spiteful UK rule applied to EU citizens. So if the UK does not apply any rules different to FoM, then that is what the EU will allow for UK citizens.

    That might indeed be a problem, were it not for the fact that most UK-EU migrants are either higher educated and skilled workers capable of commanding decent salaries, or the wealthier retired with their pensions and healthcare funded by the UK, both of which are groups most EU countries would be keen to continue welcoming. If large numbers of Brits were moving to the EU to take up low-skilled minimum waged jobs then it might be a different picture, but they aren’t.

  25. @trevors – “I always laugh when Remainers think they are the “intelligent” ones – brainw4shed m0r0ns more like, believe whatever cr4p the Remain press tell ’em”

    That’s a great shame.

    There were some really encouraging signs that you had learned a little about how to debate and exchange ideas robustly, while remaining respectful and polite. Unfortunately you’ve reverted to insult, which is a pity.

    I suspect a few people who had started to read your posts again will be skipping them once more.

    Clarity and respect are two qualities we should all aspire to on UPKPR. [Non partisanship is a third, but let’s face it – who manages that one with any consistency…?]

  26. TW,

    ” as we move to Ind.Rev4 then automation is the way to sustainably increase real wages and hence improve quality of life as folks will have higher disposable net incomes and can choice their personal work-life balance mix.”

    Oh please…that claim has been made for technology since the sixties and over the last forty years middle income wealth has plateaued while the riches have benefitted most.

    Like Amazon warehouse jobs the next wave of AI will see deskilling not upscaling and deteriorating wages and conditions.

    We will continue the trend away from stable permanent full time pensioned benefit jobs making things (other than burgers in MacDonalds) to more lower hours unsecured low benefit jobs moving foreign goods about.

    The trends of the last forty years will continue.

    The gap between the top and the rest will widen.

    New technology and productivity will benefit workers less than owners.

    Jobs will become less generous but more available.

    Disposable incomes will see little boost as the gap between wages and inflation will never be great enough for real progress.

    Rising thresholds and low personal taxation and wage growth will limit the rise in income tax receipts.

    An ageing population will increase the dependency ration without increased immigration.

    More and more of our GDP will be made up of financial activity rather than production, we will build and make less as a share while deriving more wealth from buying and selling things we have already built or made.

    More of our GDP will be hollow, derived from cash circulating around the country than from trade or production.

    Consumer spending the current driver of our economy will not be able to sustain it in a financial downturn.

    National, Corporate and Individual debt will continue to be at historically high levels and continue to rise.

    We will for a sustained period, despite austerity, have high debt and deficits even at a time of historically low unemployment.

    Unemployment is dropping to under 4%, Employment is at almost 76%, inflation is only 1.4% and wages are growing by 3.4%…but the economy is only growing by 1.4%.

    We have record employment & low inflation so where is the growth, conventional wisdom should have as powering forth at US levels of 3-4% with tax receipts flowing in like never before.

    It’s looking increasingly like we have undergone a significant structural change since the crash and the current economy is a different beast from the one before.

    Whether than means impeding doom or a new Jerusalem I can’t say but I think we should all be wary of taking any set of economic results, seemingly good or bad, to indicate what they used too!

    Peter.

  27. SAM

    @”The number of zero-hours contracts in use across the UK rose by about 100,000 last year, ”

    Nope-it fell by 57000 (UK labour market: February 2019-ONS)

    @” the number of employment contracts without a minimum number of guaranteed hours increased to 1.8m ”

    Nope :-
    “There were an estimated 844,000 people (not seasonally adjusted) in employment on zero-hours contracts in their main job, 57,000 fewer than for a year earlier”

    ( UK Labour Market -Fenb 2019 ONS)

  28. For those thinking the EU will automatically buckle – https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/feb/19/blue-brexit-monster-dutch-businesses

  29. @ SAM – “around 1.8 million and many more have, in the past, experienced stress that damages their health.”

    Perhaps I should blame that on UK being in the EU? ;)

    EU might be a small contributory factor as UK has been EU-Centric in it’s failing ne0liberal eco-political model but it goes much deeper.

    I’ve always said Leaving the EU is a catalyst for change.

    I fully agree modern life is stressful for many – we need to tackle our chronic current account deficit and low productivity whilst facing the challenge of an ageing population (see post on need to embrace change)

  30. [email protected]: “Any spiteful EU rule for the UK will only be a quid pro pro for the same spiteful UK rule applied to EU citizens. So if the UK does not apply any rules different to FoM, then that is what the EU will allow for UK citizens.”

    That might indeed be a problem, were it not for the fact that most UK-EU migrants are either higher educated and skilled workers capable of commanding decent salaries, or the wealthier retired with their pensions and healthcare funded by the UK, both of which are groups most EU countries would be keen to continue welcoming. If large numbers of Brits were moving to the EU to take up low-skilled minimum waged jobs then it might be a different picture, but they aren’t.

    Pete B’s point related to all potential UK-EU migrants being able to migrate. Now you say it will only be the wealthy or highly skilled.

  31. PETER CAIRNS

    @”the current economy is a different beast from the one before.”

    The penny drops!

    Don’t you remember that economy “before”.?

    The one lauded by Balls & Brown. The one powered by Cheap Credit ,Venal Bankers & Predatory Lending . The one financed by short term Inter Bank Lending backed by collateral consisting of Dodgy US Mortgage Debt-which suddenly dried up.
    The one which disappeared in a pile of Finance Industry Bad Debt write offs & shattered Balance Sheets.

    The one which has gone forever-we hope.

  32. @ PETER (SNP) – “over the last forty years middle income wealth has plateaued while the riches have benefitted most.”

    Well we’ve been in the EU (or its predecessor) for 40yrs+!

    I’d completely disagree that:

    “we have undergone a significant structural change since the crash and the current economy is a different beast from the one before”

    IMHO the big problem is we didn’t structurally change our economic model after the crash. We just pumped new air (via over reliance and misuse of QE) into the old one.

    UK has to embrace the structural changes we need to face the challenges of the future. Sadly Corbyn wants to go back to the 1970s and CON don’t seem to realise the need to change – not yet anyway!

  33. I notice Pete B and Garj are both among those who believe that ending Freedom of Movement only applies to them not us. Garj at least managed to put up an argument of sorts (we’re rich and they’re poor so they’ll want us), but come on! For the last thirty years young British people (and older ones) have been free to go where they like in the EU, find work, a partner, live there for months or years as of right and without anxiety. That’s coming to an end next month. You may not mind of course, but I am grieving for something wonderful.

  34. @PATRICKBRIAN
    I notice Pete B and Garj are both among those who believe that ending Freedom of Movement only applies to them not us. Garj at least managed to put up an argument of sorts (we’re rich and they’re poor so they’ll want us), but come on! For the last thirty years young British people (and older ones) have been free to go where they like in the EU, find work, a partner, live there for months or years as of right and without anxiety. That’s coming to an end next month. You may not mind of course, but I am grieving for something wonderful.

    Agree, I live in Spain during the winter months, as do may other Brits,. okay I do not expect people to feel sorry for me or other retired people but I see a lot of young people British working in the bars here,

    I see families who have set up here, often in quite low paid jobs, they prefer the environment i Spain for them and their family

    Those already here will probably be alright but it will severely limit the opportunities for those who would want to come on the future, a great shame

  35. Garj,

    “The ONS, for one:”

    But that’s not disproportionate, 69% to 76% isn’t a huge difference considering the profile of the two groups. The figure for non eu nationals where they do tend to have larger families and more stay at home women isn’t that different from the US where more women stay at home too.

    Table 7 shows that unemployment for Non EU nationals is also higher but there is no evidence that it isn’t for want of trying. It’s hardly a stretch to suggest that their could be other reasons why non eu national find it harder to get work than they don’t want to.

    The higher rate for EU nationals isn’t that much higher and it only rose above the general UK born level around the time large numbers of skilled workers migrated here from Eastern Europe.

    It’s hardly surprising that a predominantly young skilled migrant group would have higher employment rates than average while and generally older likely to have less skilled group would be lower.

    The differences aren’t that great and the fact that the profiles between UK and non EU have remained close over the whole period suggests that both sets follow the general path of the economy so the lower employment rates aren’t really that significant across the economy given the numbers involved let alone a burden.

    Peter.

  36. Patrickbrian,

    Indeed, the young Brits I know working in Europe are neither wealthy nor highly qualified in a profession but started out in entry-level jobs in the other country and are working their way up to better positions.

    After brexit they will be able to stay but only if they stay for good and not change country at all. And the younger generation won’t be able to go and start a career in another European country at all. It is a huge loss of rights.

  37. COLIN

    You did not pay enough attention to the post. It clearly says the year I was referring to is 2017.Your criticisms, .though factually correct, are otiose. Like TREVORS you miss the point or ignore it.

  38. @Trevor

    All that wonderful slogans, and you have to go spoil it with Brexit (which hasn’t begun).

    Sigh. Don’t attribute cherry-picked stats to something that has not happened yet.

    Record stats from a record population. Sigh again.

  39. Soubry and Wollaston next to leave their party

  40. HUGO

    “All International treaties have a mechanism for either side to withdraw”

    This simply isn’t true. In evidence of which I’d note that the EU Treaties themselves didn’t have one until less than ten years ago.

    And perhaps more pertinenlty on the subject of the backstop, the IGA part of the Belfast Agreement doesn’t have one.

  41. Curious how many posters here are ever more dogmatically insisting that nothing will happen when we leave the EU. Is this anxiety showing? Certainly if we leave without a transition period quite a lot will happen quite quickly.

    I could argue that if nothing will happen, then why leave? – but that would be a cheap shot. What is really worrying is that a high proportion of those wanting to “take back control” and escape from a multinational conspiracy, appear to want to turn us into a colony of the USA instead, where we will certainly have much less control than we do now.

  42. Sky Data Poll
    https://news.sky.com/story/independent-group-third-most-popular-party-sky-data-poll-11642205
    Con 32%
    Lab 26%
    The Independent Group 10%
    Lib dems 9%
    UKIP 6%

  43. SAM

    “Soubry and Wollaston next to leave their party”

    Do you have a source?

    Wollaston is my MP, and she is a great constituency MP by any standards, who was completely loyal to the government until about a year ago. I think DD in particular gave her assurances that turned out to be hollow (this is just a guess, from hints) and the whole sorry charade has led her to lose faith.

    I’ll vote for her if she leaves. I might even vote for her if she stays a Tory. I think she’s got huge local support

  44. One query about employment figures. How much of the increase in employment levels in 16-64 year olds is driven by changes in retirement age? The ONS report:

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/bulletins/uklabourmarket/february2019#average-weekly-earnings

    mentions it as a factor in the increase among women, but a lot of men in occupations that traditionally retired at 60 must also be working longer and increasing the percentages.

    And despite the hailing of the increase in wages, when you come to look at the reality, ONS is more cautious:

    For December 2018, average regular pay (excluding bonuses), before tax and other deductions from pay, for employees in Great Britain was:

    […] £464 per week in constant 2015 prices (that is, adjusted for price inflation), up from £459 per week for a year earlier, but £9 lower than the pre-downturn peak of £473 per week for August and September 2007 and for February, March and April 2008

    That’s before you even get to the questions of how inflation is measured or whether average wages are even a good measure, rather than using median etc as well.

  45. via @BritainElects:

    Westminster voting intention:

    CON: 32%
    LAB: 26%
    IG: 10%
    LDEM: 9%
    UKIP: 6%
    GRN: 4%

    via @SkyData, 19 Feb

    IG: Independent Group

    (not Instagram)

  46. SAM

    @” I was referring to is 2017.”

    Yep-which you described as “last year”. It isn’t.

    I provided the up to date ONS stata.

  47. I seen the poll and thought it was made up for the start. Are the sky data polls that accurate and reliable? (Lab/ CON support down significantly but Lib Dems held up)

  48. Colin,

    “The one lauded by Balls & Brown.”

    Which they copied, cut and pasted from the Tories!
    Don’t undermine a valid point with a cheap partisan jibe!

    Labour tried to oppose the Tory free market policies of Thatcher for a decade and failed and so instead triangulated on to it and followed it. The Policies Labour followed may well have greatly contributed to the banking crisis but the Tories weren’t challenging any of it.

    Give me the name of the Tory Leader or Chancellor, Conference or manifesto that was advocating, credit controls to curtail international currency flows, a return to HP agreements and deposits to counter consumer debt growth, rising stamp duty to limit property prices, breaking up the big banks, introducing tighter financial restrictions on lenders, reversing the liberalisation of the Big Bang, strength in oversight and regulation.

    I’ll make a deal with you; I’ll happily criticise Labour for it’s policies if you’ll be honest enough to admit that to all intents and purposes the Tories would have followed the same ones.

    Peter.

  49. TW

    @”Perhaps I should blame that on UK being in the EU? ;)”

    Nah-you know the Rule-all Good Things are because we were in EU. All Bad things are because we want to leave EU.

  50. PETER CAIRNS

    The convention is that the Party in Power is responsible Peter.

    Mainly because—-er—-they did it.

    But also because no one can ever say what oppositions would have done. It is always speculation.

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