Today we’ve had the first two polls asking people about whether they’d support The Independent Group were they to stand candidates.

Survation in the Daily Mail asked how people would vote if there was “a new centrist party opposed to Brexit”, producing voting intention figures of CON 39%, LAB 34%, LDEM 6%, “New centrist party” 8%, UKIP 5%. In comparison, the normal voting intention figures in the poll were CON 40%, LAB 36%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 5%, suggesting the new party could take support from both Labour and Conservative, though it would largely take votes from the Liberal Democrats. Tables are here.

SkyData, who do not typically publish voting intention figures, asked how people would vote if the “new Independent Group of former Labour MPs” were standing, and found voting intention figures of CON 32%, LAB 26%, TIG 10%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 6%. We don’t have standard voting intention figures to compare here, but on the face of it, it also looks as if support is coming from both Labour and Conservative, though the level of Lib Dem support appears to be holding up better than in the Survation poll. Note that the lower figures overall appear to be because of an unusually high figure for “others” (possibly because SkyData do not offer respondents the ability to answer don’t know). Tables are here.

These polls are, of course, still rather hypothetical. “The Independent Group” is not a political party yet (assuming, that it ever becomes one). It doesn’t formally have a leader yet, or any policies. We don’t yet know how it will co-exist with the Liberal Democrats. As of Tuesday night it only has former Labour MPs, though the rumourmill expects some Conservative MPs to join sooner rather than later.

Nevertheless, it is more “real” than the typical hypothetical polls asking about imaginary centrist parties. Respondents do at least have some names, faces and context to base it upon, and it gives us a baseline of support. We won’t really know for sure until (and unless) the Independent Group transform into a proper party and is just another option in standard voting intention polls.


511 Responses to “Survation and SkyData polls on the Independent Group”

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  1. Imperium3

    Yes, there probably are comparisons with the 1980s, and in fact the SDP did in the end form a new party with the Liberal Party. So anything can happen and probably will if we wait long enough I guess. More polls will come along in time.

    As for the election, May might be weighing up the benefits of banking the long-deferred boundary revision, given that the last two elections have been close. That is what a cautious person would do.

    Those who are nearer the action will have a better idea than I do, but if it all goes really sour then I think an election may be the only way to clear the air.

  2. @NORBOLD
    so here’s the scenario as it could be played out. May refuses to budge from her deal; it is beaten in Parliament again. No deal looms. A motion gets passed in the Commons to defer leaving the EU to give time for a General Election.
    A General Election is held; the new Independent Group split the Labout vote and the Tories are returned with a sizable majority. With the new arithmetic, the only two possibilities left on the table are May’s deal or no deal. The idea of a “People’s Vote” is now out of the question.

    If we are engaging in speculation alternatively they split the Labour and Conservative vote and hold the balance of power. As a condition for support they ask for and get a referendum from one party or the other
    ‘Well done the Independent Group.’

  3. Imperium3,
    ” unless we want to get stuck with a no-deal), with the more hardline Remainers splitting off in order to oppose it openly.”

    I personally am really not convinced the deal is better than no deal. Both will undermine the Uk economy, because what matters will be confidence just as much as tariffs. Major industry no longer has any national loyalty which could be relied upon to bias a decision to stay put. For those concerned about keeping their staff happy, the obvious choice is to move to ireland, with the same language and presumably continued easy reciprocal citizens rights with england.

    From either starting point, the Uk will reach some trade relationship with the Eu, whch is likely to be much the same. The UK will be diminished in real world power, in economic power, in ability to retain industry and voters at home will be even more unhappy than before they voted leave.

    I see either outcome ending up as rejoin, and it will be as a more committed member than before. Though probably also with a much stronger minority opposition to membership. A much more divided nation.

    The only way out is for MPs to head off brexit now and somehow put it back in the long grass.

  4. @Danny

    Given that 60% of Labour constituencies and 70% of Conservative constituencies voted leave parties stood on respect the referendum manifestos, you are engaged in very wishful thinking.

    The snowball sized avalanche caused by the TIG shows the true extent of the ignore and remain faction. If you are very cynical, you could say they’ve even saved their parties the hassle of deselection!

  5. Neil J,
    ” the Tories are returned with a sizable majority. With the new arithmetic, the only two possibilities left on the table are May’s deal or no deal. ”

    The conservatives would have to make a manifesto commitment to some way to proceed, whereas their policy for 3 years has been to avoid this. Very tricky. If they bottle it, and say they will have to think again, then probably they would be running on a ticket of revoke.

    If they pick one way forward, it has to be the government sponsored deal, or they become a laughing stock. If they do pick it, then 1/4 of their candidates at least will be in revolt during the campaign.

    Isnt the likelihood that the contradictions in a campaign would destroy the party?

  6. Jonesinbangor,
    “Given that 60% of Labour constituencies and 70% of Conservative constituencies voted leave ”

    I’m not sure the numbers, but probably near 100% of constituencies voted remain in the first referendum. So what?

    Wasnt the justification for holding another referendum that voter opinion had changed?

    Polling now is reporting most constituencies are remain, so shouldn’t MPs act accordingly?

    “The snowball sized avalanche caused by the TIG shows the true extent of the ignore and remain faction”

    Did you read the polling in the TIG survey? Given they arenet even a political party, their support was amazingly high!

  7. @Alec

    “Strip out Brexit, which will, at some point, be resolved, and there really isn’t anything here to make a party.”

    Very true. The only real common ground is that all 11 are very keen on a People’s Vote. That is not a sufficient basis for the formation of a major political party, and as John Curtice has pointed out in the Guardian today, that particular stance is far from ‘Centrist’ in the Brexit spectrum.

    The Tiggers need to decide whether they exist to lobby for a People’s Vote , or if they aspire to be a ground-breaking centrist long term political party. They probably don’t know at the moment.

    Having said that their ‘values statement’ which will be dismissed as Blairite waffle, was in fact well written and quite persuasive. But, of course, a value statement is a very long way from a set of policies.

  8. I think something pretty fundamental is finally underway within Con ranks. Labour have already been through this – all that remains on the left really is to see what long term impact it has on their electoral support.

    With the Conservatives, we’re at a different stage. Greening and Grieves have today openly stated that if there is a no deal as the settled government policy, they will leave the party. They think that around a third of MPs will do likewise, including a similar proportion of the cabinet. For this reason, as I’ve saying for a long time (sorry @Colin!) I really have struggled to see how we could ever get to a no deal.

    On Brexit then, the outlook for Conservatives seems pretty clear; if they dare to go for a no deal, their party will witness a rupture probably more massive than if they upset the ERG and go for a customs union. May needs to wake up to this fast.

    However, this isn’t just Brexit. For the ERG, Brexit is a means to an end. This, I feel, is what many people don’t understand. Once free from the EU, they want all the deregulation and free range global capitalism they can get – while Wollaston, Allen et al want a more centrist, ‘one nation’ policy prescription. In Justine Greening’s words –

    “…. to my mind the party that I joined many years ago and that I felt matched my aspirations and the aspirations of many people in Britain on opportunity, I would question if that is the Conservative party today,.”

    This is really where we need to be watching, to see just how deep this philosophical split goes. If it is just about Brexit, then historically it’s potentially resolvable, once a settlement takes place. If, however, Brexit has merely lit the true blue touchpaper on a more fundamentalist right wing party – which UKIP entryism suggests it might have done – then all bets are off as to whether the Conservative Party can recover it’s pre-eminent position in UK politics.

    It would be something of a political paradox if May is the leader to reignite the Tories as ‘the nasty party’.

  9. Meant to add: I may have misheard, but on last night’s BBC news John Pienaar suffered a verbal stumble when saying ‘Mrs May’.

    I’m sure I heard him say ‘Mrs Mayhem’.

  10. socalliberal

    Dunno about the USA but over here “sex” is just a neutral word which needs no ****s included to save our modesty…

    Norman

    As NeilJ demonstrated, other scenarios are available. The thing is that, in politics as in life generally, we have to accept that most people don’t agree with any of us about most things – even when we know we’re right [!!]

    That’s why this site is full of squabbling so much of the time and, for example, I am dismayed that someone with the views of A Christie has the right to a vote.**

    [I exaggerate just slightly for effect]

  11. So it seems that the UK Government’s Plan A on the backstop which the AG is touting in Brussels is a codicil to the WA giving the UK the unilateral right of withdrawal with one year’s notice.

  12. @Danny

    If they pick one way forward, it has to be the government sponsored deal, or they become a laughing stock. If they do pick it, then 1/4 of their candidates at least will be in revolt during the campaign.

    Isn’t the likelihood that the contradictions in a campaign would destroy the party?

    I think you have identified why there won’t be an election.

  13. @ Old Nat

    “Worth noting that TIG MPs will not be eligible for Parliamentary “short money” to cover research/expenses etc.

    House of Commons has confirmed that short money is not available “to a new political party, if it was established in the middle of parliament”

    They will, therefore, be reliant on donations. Until they become a party, any donation received (regardless of size) does not have to be declared to the Electoral Commission.

    Might be a very good investment by one or more foreign governments to chuck in a few million, while things can be kept secret.”

    Your campaign finance laws are worse than ours. Of course, I’ve become a major proponent of making the Political Reform Act of 1974 the model for what we want nationwide.

    Also.

    “If you don’t like the election result – change the electorate!”

    Any laws that do this are inherently suspect in my mind.

    “They hate systems where the more radical elements in the dominant parties gain control. Then, their aim is to try to construct a new centrist party which can replace one of the main parties.”

    Maybe. We might paint with too broad of a brush.

  14. Following Corbyn’s video this morning , there seems no chance that The Eight will ever rejoin the Labour Party.

    I think , on the other hand, that the softer reaction of the Tory hierarchy to THe THree , and the significant differences on Fiscal policy between them & the Labour defectors make a return to the Conservative Party less unlikely.

    The clincher, imo, will be the identity of May’s successor.

    All Eleven face the prospect that once UK has left the EU, the only glue which binds them all together will have evaporated.

  15. R&D

    @”Dunno about the USA but over here “sex” is just a neutral word which needs no ****s included to save our modesty…”

    Aren’t they still at the covered table legs stage in their long march to civilisation ?

  16. Reuters saying the ONS are reporting the largest monthly surplus to UK finances in January since monthly records began in 1993, almost 15 billion squid. They are predicting borrowing will rise in the year to April 2020 because of spending promises made.

  17. This is reported in the Guardian, but look through that to the people who did the study and how it was done – https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/feb/19/brexit-deline-uk-influence-un

    Again, a study by experts who spoke to the people who will be making these decisions after Brexit. As with all the other studies, it concludes that the UK will be weaker and have less global influence after Brexit as we become detached from the EU.

    This is probably the bit of Brexit that most leavers fundamentally struggle to understand. The idea of individual nation state sovereignty has a deep emotional appeal, but the reality is that the UK has greater strength and influence when it pools that sovereignty with 27 other nations.

    That practical outcome is at variance with the more simplistic emotional analysis, and requires some thought and reference to data and information, rather than reliance on an incorrect gut feeling.

    Whether it’s economic power, influence in trade talks, or geopolitical influence, Brexit is going to weaken our influence. On the diplomatic front, this is guaranteed pretty much regardless of whether we have a hard or soft Brexit, as the closeness of our trading arrangements is almost exclusively about the economic impacts. the diplomatic and political impacts will happen come what may.

  18. colin: All Eleven face the prospect that once UK has left the EU, the only glue which binds them all together will have evaporated.

    Does it? It might only evaporate when what is left of the UK rejoins the EU.

  19. @Hireton – “So it seems that the UK Government’s Plan A on the backstop which the AG is touting in Brussels is a codicil to the WA giving the UK the unilateral right of withdrawal with one year’s notice.”

    This is presumably why the EU were suggesting deep frustration at having to educate Cox on the last two years of negotiations to date.

    The UK have simply come up with something that May herself has already rejected multiple times, let alone the EU.

    The other interesting dynamic her is that it’s very hard to see why the EU should move on this. They know that may doesn’t have the numbers to drive through a no deal, so in practice there really isn’t a downside for the EU in knocking this back. Indeed, arguably it’s actually in their interests to send Cox packing and precipitate a crisis in Westminster, as they already know that the HoC will reject no deal, so the proper talking can then start once the backstop is accepted.

    My guess is that a codicil will be agreed, but all it will do is translate the ‘best endeavors’ wording that is already in the WA (or the PD – I get lost on this) into a legal text attached to the WA. This will have some legal meaning, but not the definitive legal meaning that the ERG want.

    The ERG will then face the choice of burning the deal – and face the HoC ruling out a no deal, taking control, or alternative the Kyle amendment with a vote that could end Brexit – or biting the bullet and accepting the deal.

  20. I watched the fascinating HoL select committee session with Ivan Rogers yesterday.

    One of the things he said was that negotiations with the EU on a huge variety of issues will be a permanent feature of political life. There will be no “when it is all over”.

  21. Just thinking on my 11.00am post, I suppose one way to view the point I was making is to revisit the Second World War.

    Emotionally, the bit about ‘standing alone against fascism’ has a strong emotional appeal, and while it is correct in a certain, very limited technical sense, it’s beyond obvious to state that in the end, we didn’t stand alone – we were joined by a huge alliance of friendly (and not so friendly) allies.

    Had Britain actually stood alone, we would have lost. We gained such extra strength and power from our strategic alliances that the allies, Britain among them, prevailed.

    The world today isn’t like WW2 (yet!) but the point remains. The Uk has always been at our strongest and best when we join in common endeavour with other like minded nations, and we are always at our weakest when we are isolated.

  22. Plenty of footage now being widely circulated on social media and also on political blogs of all the ‘quitters’ saying during the 2017 general Election that the referendum must be honoured, there mustn’t be a second referendum etc etc.

    Heidi Allen is a classic. Was she telling the truth then? Or is she telling the truth now? And can she (and the rest) be trusted?

    https://youtu.be/rDAPWxZQZHo

    https://youtu.be/q1TIU65hSIA

  23. ALEC

    You continue to believe-apparently-that “alliances”, “common endeavour” & co-operation with “friendly allies” become impossible without membership of the EU’s Political & Economic Union Project.

    Your WW2 “example” merely conforms this . The Nazis were prevented from building Imperial Europe by force of arms , by a coalition of the willing-from across the globe.

    The EU model which binds 27 sovereign countries into procedural strait jackets , rather than flexible & willing bilateral & multilateral agreements is not the only way. Indeed it is arguably out of date in the modern world of increasing interconnectedness , digital empowerment & flexibility.

  24. @ Alec

    The EU need to move positions otherwise they will walk the whole continent into a deep recession which together with Trump’s trade tariffs could last years. We’re only talking about a backstop here but the repercussions could be massive, I can see Putin rubbing his hands with glee at the prospect.

  25. @Pete

    When posting links to pages, especially behind a Pay wall can you give some indication of what the link is about, maybe with an extract from the article.

  26. ALEC

    ……….and simply saying that this or that group of countries is a “bloc” doesn’t guarantee they will operate as one.

    Of course fudge & can kicking are the recognised solution to that. But there are areas where co-operation has to be willing as well as merely institutional & procedural.

    Defence is one such-the EU manifestly fails to exhibit “common endeavour” on that front-not even common strategic objectives.

    https://www.spectator.co.uk/2019/02/how-to-solve-europes-nato-problem/

  27. OLDNAT?LEWBLEW

    “It really is an amazing coincidence that Brexiteers should want 11 Remain MPs to resign their seats.”

    Not really surprising at all, most Brexiters are both consistent and truly democratic that’s all.

  28. @Alec

    The ww2 analogy doesnt really hold. At the point at which the UK chose to stand to oppose Hitler militarily it was fairly alone. The US and soviet union only entered the war later, and that was only due to the collective stupidity of both Hitler and the Japanese. Of course their entry to the war in Europe was crucial and we would have been crushed had that not happened. But the fact is that at the time of making the decision to declare war on Germany we were, mostly, isolated. Yet it clearly was the right decision.

  29. @ADW

    Perhaps she changed her mind now that the true disaster of leaving is coming to light? Strange world where you had to live your life, do you job all based on one decision one day many years before.

    @THE OTHER HOWARD

    A democrat would never say no to another vote. Especially with a more informed electorate. Unless they knew they’d lose. Now that’s undemocratic.

  30. Bantams For the EU the integrity of the single market is absolutely key and I can see no reason for them to want to compromise it. So I think there is no question that they will stick to their position on the border in Ireland. I do not want to get into a debate about who needs who more but I always find it amusing when people take a one sided view of a no deal will be bad for ……. My personal view is that a no deal Brexit will be catastrophic for manufacturing and agriculture (including ironically fishing) in the UK and will leave the party that takes us there in the political wilderness for a generation at least. It will also be difficult in Europe but less so than in the UK because the pain will be more thinly spread and most Europeans will not blame their own governments but will blame the British. But, of course, only time will tell.

  31. @Lewblew

    “A democrat would never say no to another vote”

    True Democrats would have worked towards a sensible Brexit, not tried to undermine and devalue the result.

    The game is now ignore and delay / remain. What a shower.

  32. HAL

    Yes., no end to Brexit

  33. With the Brecon and Radnorshire MP in court next month on charges of forgery in relation to expenses claims we could actually be getting some excitement in Mid Wales politics. This was a LD seat and they still hold the Welsh Assembly seat. Of course, there could be a general election before the legal case draws to a conclusion and I am in no position to say whether he is guilty or innocent.

  34. Does anyone else feel like this about Brexit?

    ESTRAGON:
    Charming spot. —- Inspiring prospects —- Let’s go.
    VLADIMIR:
    We can’t.
    ESTRAGON:
    Why not?
    VLADIMIR:
    We’re waiting for Brexit.
    ESTRAGON:
    (despairingly). Ah! (Pause.) You’re sure it was here?
    VLADIMIR:
    What?
    ESTRAGON:
    That we were to wait.

  35. @BALDBLOKE
    “Yet it clearly was the right decision.”

    I think even that is a matter of opinion. If you take the view, as some did even without hindsight, that the practical consequence of the European war came down to a battle between Hitler and Stalin for control of Eastern Europe, the British and French intervention may have been decisive in tipping that eventually in Stalin’s favour certainly.

    Whether that was enough of a good thing relative to the enormous cost to make the decision to intervene clearly right is one I have never been persuaded of.

  36. @Colin – I would agree with much of what you say, but I think it is undoubtedly true what those diplomats at the UN are saying: the UK’s influence will be reduced once we represent only ourselves and are not working alongside EU representatives. This will also happen (as it is already) in many other areas of practical diplomacy, like trade talks, talks on fisheries policy, and climate change initiatives.

    We can talk about the inherent problems involved in gathering 28 sovereign nations under one banner if you like – and we know there are indeed many problems – but that wasn’t really the point. The point was what the UK loses by leaving, rather than how the system currently works. If those diplomats recognise the UK position will weaken, then presumably those drawbacks are outweighed by the benefits?

    I think defence is a big area of concern for Europe, but again, in many ways the EU can’t win on this. They are criticised for relying on NATO and not doing enough for themselves, while they are simultaneously criticised when they talk of having at some future time an EU army.

    I also believe that there is some revisionism going on here. Germany, like Japan, has constitutional and emotional reasons for not being a global military power, despite the respective sizes of their economies. Like Germany, Japan does not ‘pull it’s weight’ in defence of the pacific region.

    In part, this is because of historical US and UK objections. Thatcher was opposed to German reunification – and that was barely 30 years ago. Now the Anglo countries are demanding that they tool up and become military powers, so I think we all need to accept a need to redefine the historical context. Even in that Bogdanor article, he says Britain’s skepticism of European integrated defence policy is well founded – so do we want the EU to defend itself, or are we bothered about this?

    Bogdanor also gets a bit mixed up. I think he is confusing the purpose of NATO – an alliance against attack of any of it’s members – with a crtique of the EU for not intervening in non defensive situations like the Balkans. These are completely different things.

    He says that any European Defence initiative can’t be done via the EU, because of disagreements amongs member states, but as a defence alliance, how many times has NATO agreed on anything? All NATO does is agree to a defence of it’s members when attacked – it can also be pretty useless at sorting out civil wars and humanitarian crises, but no one seems to get too aerated about that.

    As it happens, the Lisbon Treaty already commits EU members to defending each other, and Bogdanor doesn’t explain why a simple defence agreement cannot be part of EU’s mission. Attack one and you attack all. He makes the mistake of mixing NATO’s defence commitments with interventionist missions outwith the strict defence against direct attack treaty obligations.

    [Bogdanor also misses another point about the ‘theoretical’ notion of EU defence meaning we get dragged in someone elses wars. Did he pause to consider whether Scotland was asked about the Iraq invasion? Probably not].

    I’m rambling now, so best get back to work. It’s an interesting topic though.

  37. I wonder if TOH and Co. would be so keen on by-elections if those resigning the party whip were Brexit supporters? Mind it’s easy for them to say ‘of course’ because none have or are likely to, preferring to stay in their comfort zone and keep the PM’s arm firmly twisted behind her back.

  38. Herein l!es the problem that Labour have yet to confront – https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/feb/21/labour-mps-independent-tories-labour-prevent-government

    I can understand Lavery’s frustration with former colleagues defecting, and there will be arguments over shades of view and where balances l!e, but to say former Labour MPs are – “.. a well-funded and co-ordinated effort to defend the huge power and privilege that the 1% enjoy..” is a bit bizarre.

    There is this brand of Labour leftist that identifies the world as being with them, and if you are not with them, you are the 1%. If you are not with them in foreign policy, you are zionists. If you are not with them with the working class, you are the oppressors etc etc.

    It’s as black and white simplification of complexity and nuance as the ERG fundamentalists, and if this mindset isn’t addressed, Corbyn will lead them down a blind alley.

  39. alec

    ” Corbyn will lead them down a blind alley.”

    I have no idea where the Labour Party goes from here but I did suggest after their “triumph” in the last GE that that would prove to be Corbyn’s high point in politics and he would never become PM.

    There are people on this site and elsewhere who I like and respect who have a great deal of time for him but almost all of my lefty friends [including those who are far more so than I am] dislike and distrust him. Like me they vote Labour but, like the vast majority of the population, are not activists and do not choose to go to meetings. But without their votes Labour will be sidelined.

    It may sound trivial but I have little time for a man who chose to be in the prominent position that he is but can’t be courteous to reporters, instead offering sarcastic comments such as “how nice to see you hear” with a tone of voice that says everything.

    I know that they ask inane things, but they also are workers and they should be treated respectfully, whether he feels they deserve it or not.

    But as to what happens after him – I haven’t a clue.

  40. I see that Galloway has applied to rejoin. Maybe he can contest a bye election against one of the rebels?

  41. Interesting contribution from Ian Dunt over on politics.co.uk . He says an extension past 1 July is impossible unless the UK has taken part in the European Parliament elections, which are 23-26 May. This is because the EP opens on 2 July and would not be legally constituted if the UK is still a member and has not had elections.

    Once the UK asks for an extension (required in almost all scenarios now) there will presumably be EP elections unless there is legislation to explicitly stop them. The possibility that the UK might legislate to prevent EP elections means (in my view) that the EU would be unwilling to grant an extension past 1 July until the UK has actually held the EP elections. In other words, going past 1 July would need two extensions.

  42. DANNY

    Polling!
    Someone posted two yougov links on voting intention with and without TIG.

    The results are dated the same, though I dont know if it is the same sample being asked both questions. If it is, then the results might have more significance, because the VI change is not due to random fluctuations between small sample groups but solely to it being a diferent question.

    […] What might really happen would depend on how events play out, and whether TIG could find a clear issue in an actual election. But on these numbers there are more than enough uncertain to swep them to power in one election as per France.

    That was me. The tables for the VI including the TIG from here:

    https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/co2ku2ha2h/TheTimes_190219_VI_withTheIndependentGroup_w.pdf

    with the TIG-less one here:

    https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/zz37bx0uqp/TheTimes_190219_VI_Trackers_w.pdf

    the dates and the sample size are the same so it’s almost certainly the same sample. This means it’s a bit susceptible to the Mrs Doyle Effect[1], but the initially high DKs suggests some were already thinking of the existence of TIG making their choice more uncertain anyway.

    I suppose anything can happen and it’s certainly early days, but given the already high level of DKs and how a new, very undefined potential party can be attractive to a wide range of people (looks at all those Leavers supporting a group whose only aim seems to be Remain), it’s actually a rather low figure if you compare how the SDP took off (see Anthony’s sidebar). The SDP had a lot of advantages this group doesn’t, but in the end they didn’t do very well and the Lib Dems were actually polling worse when they eventually merged than the Liberals did on their own before the SDP was founded.

    In addition Sensible Centrists have been getting all excited about Macron’s success, but he was helped by the French electoral system. As with previous presidential elections, all he had to do was be the best performing candidate who wasn’t call LePen. Only a few points separated to top four candidates, so it was mostly luck. In the UK a ‘moderate’ coming second everywhere doesn’t help – there’s no second round to gather all the anti-X votes up. As the SDP found out.

    [1] My coinage (as someone asked) after I came across a particularly insistent set of reframed questions back in 2013, but I’d be surprised if it’s not been thought of before.

  43. @R&D

    https://www.newstatesman.com/…/02/independent-group-have-anna-soubry-problem

    It seems my thoughts on Soubry are better articulated in the NS.

    Put another way, if 100 citizens were asked to identify the ‘odd one out’ in the TIGgers, then I would expect Soubry to be the most likely choice.

  44. @ ALEC – “The choice (of which type of “PeoplesVote”) can be anything our parliamentary representatives wish it to be”

    No argument with that. However, let’s just consider the practical and polling issues:

    1/ Clearly not time for any kind of “PeoplesVote” (PV) before 29Mar’19 (May is ticking down the clock and Corbyn is letting her)
    2/ So any kind of PV will need revoke or extension
    3/ You need the PM to ask to revoke or extend (or remove said power from her)
    4/ If extend (quite possible via Cooper2) then EC-EU27 will likely, and rightly, ask for what?
    5/ You then have the issue of what kind of PV and the HoC maths to “enable it”

    I’ve never said it is impossible you get a new ref with Remain as an option just highly unlikely.

    The IG party has IMHO (and that of PV HQ) made Corbyn backing a new ref with Remain option less likely.

    Apart from the HoC “enabling” issue consider the polling. Please show one that shows a majority of folks want a ref based on Remain v May-EC deal (your current pick I believe, but correct me if wrong)?

    Remain are narrowly ahead on a “do-over” (or hindsight) vote but CON VI are massively against, Corbyn is doing everything to avoid it and more than two options still exist (ie the polling question is not realistic – not yet anyway).

    I do hope you get Corbyn to back Remain in a new ref. With the IG party splitting the opposition even further then it will be CON for Leave and multiple split votes for Remain – and the GE format of PV does at least have a statutory route open

    Bring on a new GE but bon chance avec Le Corbyn et nouveau ref ;)

  45. Alec
    ‘It’s as black and white simplification of complexity and nuance as the ERG fundamentalists, and if this mindset isn’t addressed, Corbyn will lead them down a blind alley.’

    It reminds me of an incident back when I was about 40 and went to an Industrial Society day at Haberdasher Askes School, Elstree. Managers from various businesses were given small groups of 6th formers to guide as they worked on a business related problem. I remember my overriding impression of the youngsters was how they saw everything in black and white, no nuance, no grey, no shades of opinion.

    It seems that even grown ups in the left wing of the Labour Party haven’t learned that life’s certainties generally aren’t at all certain.

  46. @ PETEB – I quoted the YG write-up. Clearly CON made bigger gains from ex-UKIP than they lost from Remain (as the article pointed out). It’s the same issue in the current polling. A “Leave” split would have been catastrophic for CON but a “Remain” split will have a smaller impact

    NB I’m not saying a zero impact, just smaller than the alternative and since LAB split at same time then due to FPTP system that benefits CON

    The issue is how “tribal” are the residual CON-Remain VI?

    We’ll await more polling but judging by current CON x-breaks in any Brexit questions I doubt CON will lose much and certainly less than LAB!

    @ RP – “What about Frank Field, Kate Hoey, John Mann, Stephen Lloyd – all centrist MPs”

    Happy to agree to that. The new “Centre” is a broad church looking forward to UK out of EU, not a backward looking bunch of ne0liberals. Unfort due to the “party” system the Leave MPs have partisan issues conflicting with Brexit views.

    IMHO there is a “Leave” majority in HoC as we’ve seen in most votes – A50 trigger through to more recent Brady amendment.

    Granted, there is not a majority for “No Deal” and I’m hoping that baggage laden term is dropped soon and we sign some kind of Association Agreement (slimmed down WA). May and EC love le fudge and provided it means we have legally left EU at 11pm on 29Mar’19 then, given the sh!t state of preparations, then I’m OK with that.

    Any attempt to Remain will then be via A49 and that opens up the issues of our previous vetoes no longer being valid.

    Good luck to IG, LDEM, Greens, SNP, PC getting support for rejoin via A49 going – plenty of VI in LAB to poach!

  47. More “Despite Brexit” good news:

    “Record surplus delivers pre-Brexit boost for Hammond”

    https://news.sky.com/story/record-surplus-delivers-pre-brexit-boost-for-hammond-11643549

    Of course Hammond seems to think he is Osborne2.0 but there is the money as well as the political and moral importance of officially ending austerity and giving “Project After” a fiscal boost.

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