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. An interesting irony if the defections cause such a reaction in their respective parties that no further defections are actually required for the HOC to come to it’s senses and point out that there is a majority for something sensible – rather than the barking mad choices some on here espouse.

  2. EOTW

    The FT article @Pete linked was about the potential credit downgrading of the UK due to Brexit uncertainty.

    It may happen or may not. If they use their algorithms the agencies should downgrade it, but I would say that (unless it is a no deal Brexit) human intervention would stop the algorithm.

  3. Further to my last post, it seems The Brexit Party has 8 MEPs. All ex-UKIP of course. That’s been kept pretty quiet by the MSM over here hasn’t it? OK, it might all be meaningless after March 29th, but if Parliamentary shenanigans does delay/extend Article 50 at all, then Wor Nige wasnae bluffin’! He’s actually got a real base already for the EU elections at least.

  4. I post some rambling thoughts as a disappointed and partially bemused Labour Party Member.
    First to correct Danny who stated ‘’ Some like Jim Jam have argued Brexit is not important and labour can take a leave position safely’’
    This misunderstands my position which is that Labour is obliged to try to deliver a Brexit that can honour the referendum result but minimise the economic impact. At some point this might become impossible and mean advocating and whipping for a peoples vote which would fail if the HOC voted on it in next week but may have a chance if a second ref v no deal is in prospect. It is important and whichever way Labour jump will have consequences but there will also be for the Conservatives. Predicting how positions taken now will impact electorally in 3 years’ time is difficult to say the least.

    Rambling thoughts, some made by others.

    I have genuine sadness and embarrassment that Luciana Berger has felt compelled to join this group and anger at the party’s failure to act early enough or strongly enough on antisemitism. Joan Ryan let her self down with an accusation of antisemitism that was unwarranted but since then has faced abuse and probably feels unwelcome in the Labour Party which I regret
    Umunna, Leslie and Smith are unreconciled to the members choice of leader and have been looking for others to join them in deserting so their actions would seem less capricious, I would have preferred them to stay but they won’t be lamented.
    The other 3 I know little about, although Mike Gapes comments on racism have surprised many people who accept Jewish members can judge the extent of antisemitism in the party best and his assertion would contradict that by extension.
    For numbers – I reckon 12-18 in total might jump.

    Ian Lavery is not fit to be party Chair(man) and Chris Williamson makes me shudder when he is on TV.

    The 3 Tories have stated they will support the Government on, inter alia, Economic maters and as others have said Soubrey joining may deter some potential Labour movers. As such hard to see an SDP like impact as all that unites this group is Brexit and to an extent anger at Labour’s dealing with antisemitism; plus, they have no body of achievement in Government among their ranks.

  5. Pete B

    Your Nige also seems to have a base in Mentorn Media & BBC as well.

  6. JJ

    Yeah,must be difficult.

    As I wrote previously it may be that the group never expands but fulfils a valuable role anyway in encouraging everybody else that matters to make sensible decisions – and quickly.

    I regret that whilst people like Milne, Lavery, Williamson and others are the prominent face of this Labour Party I have no interest in supporting it anymore, And I don’t see any prospect for change in a very long time.

    Naturally I hope that I’m wrong.

  7. @Dalek

    “Could Chuka Umunna challenge Labour for the London Mayor?”

    This is highly unlikely. There is already a centrist London Mayor.


    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.

    Well done the Independent Group.

    That’s not really how the FTPA works. There would have to be 434 MPs voting in favour of GE or a vote of no confidence and then nothing then happening in the next 14 days (admittedly the HoC has had lots of practice of nothing happening for 14 days recently). You can’t tie a GE to any conditions or as part of another motion.

    And in theory requesting a deferral isn’t possible either, no matter how the motion is worded. All the Commons can do is vote to withdraw A50 not defer it. And even then the ‘good faith’ aspects mean that they can’t retable A50 without good reason (and the Government has to agree to do the requesting anyway).

    What has been made clear is that the EU would agree to put back the leaving date in the event of a GE or another referendum. In fact no request would have to be made – the EU could do so unilaterally if it happened. But it would not be indefinite and they would probably reset a fairly tight date.

    Now the one thing that seems to unite the Tiggers is that they don’t want a GE[1], understandably enough as only Woolaston and (maybe) Allen would have a chance. But it does raise the interesting point that, given the main reason for the Tiggers is staying in the EU, why do they keep on doing things that make exiting more likely? And makes more likely the illegal exit that its advocates keep on glossing as ‘No deal’.

    So why split now if the EU is so important? If I was mirror-Danny I would suggest that they are all secret Leavers plotting to make sure it happened, but for the Labour defectors it seems to be entirely about their obsession with getting rid of Corbyn (one they share with practically the entire media). After all their immediate reaction to the referendum result was not to fight to reverse it, but to try to topple Corbyn. Similarly the whole People’s Vote thing seemed to be mainly about attacking Corbyn who could do anything to force a referendum (maths is maths) rather than trying to persuade those who could (Tories, the DUP). The result was to alienate some Labour supporters and reduce public support for PV.

    [1] The call for by-elections is something that happens every time an MP changes Party (from everyone except the Party they move to) and polls always say the public want it and it hardly ever happens. Before the two UKIP cases, the last was Bruce Douglas-Mann in 1982 (he had made public promises that he would do so):

  9. ADW

    Article 50 will be delayed and polling day will be Thursday, 23 May – a date on which we will also have to field a full slate of MEPs. (It also gives enough time for the Labour Party to erupt into civil war and venemous Court battles as Momentum sets about deselecting huge swathes of Labour’s current MPs – totally distracting it from the election itself).

    It doesn’t really work like that. There’s effectively a minimum of 26 working days after the election is called and little bit of flexibility at the start, but it can’t be prolonged until a certain date unless you kill off Brenda[1].

    If the government did lose a vote of no confidence I suspect that they would then try to get the 434 MPs voting for an immediate GE rather than waiting 14 days. Anything else involves the Palace too much in politics and arguments about who should or could form a government. If May refuses to play, I suppose the Queen could always threaten to put that nice Mr Corbyn in Downing Street for the duration. Even if he lost his vote of confidence as well, he would still be PM till polling day.

    As to the fantasies of Labour civil war – well it didn’t happen last time under the same circumstances, did it? Actually polling shows that it’s Conservative members who are keener to get rid of MPs who they disagree with politically.

    [1] It’s actually in statute that the death of the Monarch adds extra days to the process.

  10. JIM JAM

    I have been waiting to read your reaction & views on defections to TIG


  11. PETEB
    …Churchill was also a govt. minister whilst reprepresenting both Scottish and English constituencies. I don’t know whether that’s unique to him.

  12. It is interesting what Vince Cable has said

    “It would be foolish for my party and this Independent Group to fight with each other and compete with each other in elections. The first-past-the-post system means that we would damage each other very badly.
    “It would be a foolish thing to do, so we have to co-operate.”

    That does make sense and it would certainly leave remain voters with a clear single choice (in England constituencies anyway) as regards Brexit

  13. Danny
    “The EU is simply the best trade deal in the world. It is what all those multilateral agreements aspire to become, and is the logical conclusion of making them. It is utterly perverse to say the aim of leaving the EU trade block is to then create a new organisation amounting to the same thing.”

    If the EU was simply a trade deal, it would still be called ‘The Common Market’ , i.e. What we were sold in 1973 and I would have no problem with it.

    Unfortunately it is not just a trade deal, it is a political project with the ultimate aim of neutering all the countries within Europe and subsuming them within an empire dominated by Germany. Their third attempt in 100 years.

  14. In other News:

    The DWP proving how useless/evil they are by holding back benefits. if this happened in another country we’d be talking about prison sentences.

  15. @ ALEC – “The arithmetic is quite simply – majority already against a no deal”

    However is there a majority to enable the Kyle amendment, which specifically asks for a new ref based on Remain v May-EC deal?
    (ie doesn’t ask for a waffley Cooper extension but specifically asks for a PV that vast majority of CON and a lot of LAB MPs[1] do not want)

    I seriously doubt there is, I’d expect that to lose by more than Cooper1 (ie more than 23).

    You can’t stop “No Deal” unless you enable something else.

    I also wouldn’t be 100% confident EU27 would unanimously agree to an extension without 1+ countries kicking up a fuss.

    You also have the issue of the EP elections.

    However, I certainly hope PV HQ doesn’t bottle it again and Kyle amendment is voted on next week – then we’ll see just how popular a new 2-way ref with Remain option is. I’m happy to bet it loses by more than 23 votes.

    [1] The usual 6 LAB plus a lot more folks like Flint, Nandy, Snell, etc. If Corbyn was to back it then your chances of getting more CON MPs to back it is reduced. I’m not sure this list is updating but PV MP total is currently a very long way from 320

  16. “Unfortunately it is not just a trade deal, it is a political project with the ultimate aim of neutering all the countries within Europe and subsuming them within an empire dominated by Germany. Their third attempt in 100 years.”

    And xenophobia has no part in Brexit.

  17. By-elections for TIGs.

    They’re obviously not going to resign their seats but the hypocrisy of demanding another EU ref while holding on to a seat that they won by standing for either LAB or CON is unlikely to sit well with the electorate if they get their wish an we do have another EU ref and every TV interviewer will highlight their hypocrisy.

  18. The conservative Tiggers complain the conservative party has lost its way, needs to be more centrist, more caring. Apart from that they oppose Brexit. They are all women in a very male dominated party.

    So… Does anyone else fit this description? Maybe Theresa May? Who accused the conservatives of being the ‘nasty party’, and supported remain in the campaign?

    If you were PM of a party desperatly in need of a spokesman for remain to help explain to the public why we must remain, could you prevail on a group of your colleagues to do as you have done and put nation before career, and take a stand for remain? (which, I have argued, May has done)

    I have argued the party is not divided, but desperately trying to stop brexit without being seen to do so. Sure, the tiggers openly want to stop brexit, but they deflect blame levelled by leavers from the party as a whole. They can now openly attack brexit.

    Has the conservative women’s wing taken a major role in the secret war against leaving? Is it more forgivable to leavers if women take this role? Someone above suggested the route might still be open in future for these three to rejoin the party, so maybe not the end of their careers, just troops deployed.

    And how has Amber Rudd been doing, come to think?

    So… is the conservative tigger group evidence of a splintering conservative party? Maybe not. It is an escalation in the attack on Brexit, but circumstances require escalating action by more MPs to stop it. labour is steadfastly refusing to come forward to do that job. If conservatives want to stop brexit, they must do it themselves.

  19. Trevor,

    As per mine above I think the Kyle/Wilson amendment would fall next week and Labour need to exhaust other possibilities before endorsing this or a similar a proposition.

    I expect Labour will support Cooper/Boles 2 and would hope that any shadow minister not supporting would be asked to resign. The effect of no article 50 extension (or trigger for it a la C/B) coupled with no deals passing through the HOC pushes Labour in to almost immediate advocacy of a PV in some form. I hope enough post ref Labour leavers who opposed or abstained last time would recognise this and support C/B 2 as a result allowing it to pass.

    NB) Wilson and Kyle being worked on to withdraw with assurances that without a Labour Deal and/or A50 extension they get their proposition or similar supported a week or so on.
    NB) Better PV proposition that Lab support comes from a Tory such as Lee, Greening or Grieve.

  20. Bet no one has thought about this one:

    Have a GE and referendum simultaneously!

    Whoever wins the GE deals with the Brexit result, and the GE itself can focus on the mess that the next government will inherit. We have the worst social deficit in modern times, which needs to be the real focus of attention.

  21. Jim Jam

    “I have genuine sadness and embarrassment that Luciana Berger has felt compelled to join this group and anger at the party’s failure to act early enough or strongly enough on antisemitism.”

    Speaking as another Labour Party member, I completely disagree with this view of Luciana Berger. In my opinion she has manipulated the ingrained horror at anti-semitism in the same way that as you quite rightly suggest Umunna, Leslie and Smith have manipulated the “People’s Vote” just to get at Corbyn and hopefully get him removed.

    What Luciana Berger, and others like her have done, aided and abetted by the media of course, is to totally confuse anti-semitism with the right to criticise Israel. According to her, any criticism of Israel is simply being anti-Jewish, which is just not true. It’s not through lack of understanding, she has obfuscated the matter deliberately as a way of attacking Corbyn. Joan Ryan is another. Look at the way she was caught out trying to stitch up another member on an anti-Semitism charge.

    Coming from a Jewish family myself, I have never found any problem with anti-semitism in the Party, but I have found members very wary now of criticising Israel in any way in case they are hauled up in front of a disciplinary hearing.The two are not synonymous as they would want everyone to believe.

    I actually think the likes of Luciana Berger and Joan Ryan have done the cause of anti-semitism a massive disfavour in deflecting its real meaning and its real effects.

    Personally, I have very little sympathy with either of them.

  22. Norman

    ”According to her, any criticism of Israel is simply being anti-Jewish”

    never seen this – any quotes or other evidence.

    I regularly criticize the Israeli Government and have never once been accused of antisemitism, indeed conference held a debate where speaker after speaker did this and none where accused of it so not sure genuine debate has been curtailed.

    You can find elsewhere the abuse Berger has received on line, some from party members, I don’t want to quote here.

    There’s no such thing as ‘simply a trade deal’. As soon as you start doing large amounts of trade with other countries, all kinds of regulations and standards must be put in place to ensure fair competition and improve quality of life. Also, quite a nice idea, considering many nations in the EU were bombing the hell out of each other just a few decades ago. The political aspect is a natural progression and was voted for by our democratically elected politicians. You know, the ones you want to be ‘sovereign’.

  24. Ian Austin quits Labour over antisemitism but does not join the Tiggers and he is leave now of course.

    Frank Field is in a similar position only a long time leaver.

    Demonstrates that the new group is really only held together by opposing Brexit, or at least appearing to, as in reality they only get one vote each still.

  25. @neilj

    Certainly if there was a general election to try to resolve the Parliamentary deadlock, it would make sense for the Lib Dems and IG not to stand candidates in the same seats [1] … but assuming that doesn’t happen before 29 March/1 July and therefore we’ve either left in some way or unilaterally revoked … does it still make sense after that point?

    The anecdotal impression I get from Lib Dem activists is that *other than Brexit* they don’t believe they have a lot in common with much of the IG and are somewhat unhappy with Cable cosying up to them. These are, admittedly activists from the “the Lib Dems should be a liberal alternative to Labour” side of the party, not the “the Lib Dems should be a centrist party mitigating the big two” side – that side may well be much more favourable.

    [1] Given the SNP’s consistent anti-Brexit stance and considerably greater numbers and seat-winning potential, would they also extend this to not standing in any SNP-Con or SNP-Lab marginals? I suspect not.

  26. Jim Jam,

    If your view that only Jewish members of the party can complain about the extent of anti-Semitism is a common one, then the Labour Party is in a much worse state than I thought it was.

  27. Alec” Bet no one has thought about this one: Have a GE and referendum simultaneously!”

    Can you have too much of a good thing ?

  28. Hal – that is an over simplification of what I am saying.

    I have complained/commented on their being too much antisemitism within the party. As a non-Jewish person, though, I won’t be as conscious or sensitive to it as much as Jewish members as some casual yet insidious manifestations will pass me by.
    In the same way white people don’t experience racism that visible minorities do on a day to day basis so it is wrong of a white person to make a claim that racism is worse than it has been for 30 years. (It was Mike Gapes I was challenging for his inconsistency as some would see it).

    NB) Most Jewish people are not visible as such hence the admittedly clumsy term.

  29. Danny

    ” ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’”

    I have not heard May take this “off the table” and it still makes sense to me, but then it would as I believe that we will be better off in the long term after we leave the EU.


    “I generally agree, unless the MP leaves to become a genuine Independent. Crossing over to another party, or a quasi party should precipitate a byelection..”

    That’s where we disagree then.


    “The EU is becoming a Federal Superstate. The decisive referendum result in 2016 where 60% of Labour constituencies and 70 % of Conservative constituencies voted LEAVE gave the clear message, enough is enough. Yes, we want to trade, but we do not want political and social union.”

    We can definitely agree on that.


    ” rather than the barking mad choices some on here espouse.”

    You mean abandoning democracy and remaining in the EU. Now that would be barking mad IMO.

  30. Sorry ‘too much’ implies some is acceptable which it is not of course. The reality, however, is that as with all political parties some will slip through and how they are dealt with that defines the party in this regard.

  31. JIMJAM

    “I post some rambling thoughts as a disappointed and partially bemused Labour Party Member.”

    It might surprise you but I agree with much of your analysis and not just your comments on the Tory 3, although of course I speak as a Conservative member.

  32. @ Rosie and Daisy

    “Suffice it to say that a lot of people [bizarrely including women] don’t like women who are intelligent, confident and articulate.”

    This is unfortunately true. It’s impacted politics negatively. Women candidates are constantly subjected to double standards. Though I hope it’s starting to change.

  33. Hireton

    “And xenophobia has no part in Brexit.”

    Gad we agree, it’s not xenophobia, just an rather extreme version of what many believe to be true.

    Which country has benefited most from the Euro I ask you?

  34. JIMJAM

    “I regularly criticize the Israeli Government and have never once been accused of antisemitism,”

    I also regularly do that as well, even though I am a strong supporter of the right of the state of Israel to exist and prosper.

  35. @ CIM

    “The anecdotal impression I get from Lib Dem activists is that *other than Brexit* they don’t believe they have a lot in common with much of the IG and are somewhat unhappy with Cable cosying up to them. These are, admittedly activists from the “the Lib Dems should be a liberal alternative to Labour” side of the party, not the “the Lib Dems should be a centrist party mitigating the big two” side – that side may well be much more favourable.”

    What would Jeremy Thorpe have done? (Sorry, I’m obsessed with that tv series….wish it could have a sequel). Prior to his downfall, he seemed like the consummate centrist mitigating the two big sides and ideal to those in the middle. He had the Tory pedigree but forcefully took progressive positions.

    Problem for Lib Dems is that they were the beneficiary of tactical voting from Labour voters that boosted their numbers for years and allowed them to build up. When that went away after the coalition, they collapsed. So it makes me wonder how they mount their comeback. As an alternative to Labour, I’m not sure they can really rebuild.

    Is Vince Cable a leader that the TIG could get behind and put forward for PM? (With negotiated conditions).

  36. I’ll say this much. I feel like this current unfolding saga in British politics can best be understood by watching the Waldorf Salad episode of Fawlty Towers. Polite middle class Brits are too mild to complain about the poor service. They hide their distaste and in some cases their disgust. That is…until they’re finally baited into complaining and start to do so loudly and angrily. I feel like all these MPs, reflective of a good but rather quiet chunk of society, have gone along with Corbynism and Brexit even though they really don’t like it at all and don’t want it. But they’ve kind of gone along timidly with the anger simmering beneath the surface. And now, they’ve finally been pushed to the limit (May’s endlessly bad negotiating ploys, Corbyn’s embrace of anti-semitism) and are complaining.

    Of course, the ending of that episode doesn’t really have an ending and leaves a lot of open questions.


    It’s up to the PM and the Queen to decide the date of a snap General Election after considering all things. 26 working days is 5 weeks. When you chuck Easter in, May is 8-10 weeks depending on when the No Confidence vote occurs.

    If you try and do it faster than the euro-elections, then you would end up having a General Election in the middle of Euro Election campaigning and a very very cynical and angry electorate being told that they are voting in a General Election and that they will be voting again in a European Election a few weeks later.

    As for Labour’s civil war, it’s already started. And once in a general election scenario, with all Labour candidates facing mandatory selection/reselection/deselection it will kick off with a gusto.

  38. Whispers are emanating from the Continent that both Team May at the weekend and Team Corbyn yesterday were left with no illusions about an Article 50 extension – it is a ‘one-off’, that the EU would not countenance one being longer than three months, it must have a non-extendable end date and it must be to achieve a set goal within that three months, that they aren’t prepared to see this drag on while the UK tries to deal with what it considers UK-internal and UK-domestic problems.

  39. ADW – not how it works in the event of a snap GE the NEC would affirm existing MPs as the PPC if they wanted to re-stand, unless there are exceptional circumstances and this is what happened in 2016 when none were as you put it deselected.

    Of course some may decide it is opportune to stand down at that point and then an expedited selection process would ensue overseen by the regional office.

  40. One assumes that the negative comments from those leaving the Labour Party, largely aimed at Corbyn and his inner circle, will be reflected in the next opinion poll.

    It’s really hard to see where this goes from here.

    A bodged EU exit could happen – just in time – and we could have the same government for a few more years. But negotiations with the EU will go on much, much longer.

    I guess we could end up with a political grouping whose main ideology/policy platform is to rejoin the EU, and that could attract quite a large percentage of voters, so maybe the group of 11 could expand.

    But really, who amongst us has a clue of where this is all leading.

  41. Good morning all from a currently overcast but promise of sunny spells later PSRL.

    Thought I’d briefly cone out of my current neo-permanent state of lurking to make a couple of observations about recent events. First, I can’t recall a situation when a group of MP’s from the two major parties has broken off and coalesced in this fashion, which means its not clear mid-long term if the left or right will benefit. It also makes it more likely that it could lead to a permanent shift in the political landscape – for a while there has been a significant number of centrist voters who have felt they don’t have a home. This group might provide it.

    Second, whilst Breixt/anti-Semitism are the obvious catalyst for what has happened, the underlying root cause is that as the two major parties have moved towards their respective extremes it has left a vacuum in the centre which the LD’s have not been able to capitalise on as their brand has been damaged. A degree of ‘entryism’ (for use of a better word) appears to have occurred in both parties, which has further alienated centrist elements. These MP’s no longer feel they can achieve their goals in their respective parties.

    Third, the key tactical driver behind the group is to stop Brexit from happening. This can only be done by effectively ‘toppling’ the government – not necessarily by having an election but by parliament taking over the process. Their hope must be to attract more like minded conservative MP’s – or make it easier for them to rebel. As potentially both parties are splitting, the threat of a Corbyn govt recedes for moderate Tories, the main thing that has been keeping them in line to date.

    As Danny has pointed out previously, the return to two party politics has been to a significant extent illusory with a large section of both parties support being ‘soft’. As Brexit crunch time approaches it is proving impossible for the respective party leaders to keep their coalitions together. It does currently look like our future is in the lap of the gods.


    I think we in for a muddle of the middle:

    Just think of the policy positions of the TIG across anything that is not Brexit and you end up with no grouping whatsoever. There are austeritarians such as Soubry with those that have voted for the continuation of it such as Allen (she of the poor tour with Frank Field) what I suspect will happen more is temporary alliances for certain issue more reaching across the aisle on certain issues. I believe for example the Gay marriage is one where social conservative Tories butted heads with social liberal Tories. But in truth I cannot see many places where one would ideological fervour does not trump evidence (I mean 10 years the Tories have been in power and the idea that short sentences for petty crimes seem to have a negative effect is so old as to be boring but it is has only come to Guakes attention now kind of show where our problem is

    The problem is that the electorate votes for parties, I suspect they are rarely vote for details on policy but on tribal themes. There is not enough sophistication in our electorate at the moment and i suspect that is failing of our political system. We get the politics we deserve

    There is nothing in TIG that changes that. The electorate has not changed as yet. remember we had an opportunity to change (and yes it was a sucky change) the voting system and the electorate chose not to. Now I suspect we would vote for change, As I have said the electorate are several year behind where they need to be to solve today’s problems

  43. @TOH

    Which country has benefited most from the Euro I ask you?

    But did they want it?

    I am sure I have read on here that the Germans were not that keen on the Euro but went along for EU unity.

    Please don’t all shout at once if I imagined this.

  44. Perhaps the significance of the Tiggers is that they have made it easier for others to resign the whip. Would Ian Austin have done so, if the Tiggers had not moved last week? Probably not.

    Austin’s move also tends to confirm that this is not an orchestrated plan.

    An interesting suggestion emerged this morning: that David Milliband will be watching events very closely. It does seem that the planets are beginning to align for his return to Westminster politics.

    I am not sticking my neck out in saying that I expect further turmoil to ensue!

  45. With regards my last post (Whispers are emanating from the Continent that both Team May at the weekend and Team Corbyn yesterday were left with no illusions about an Article 50 extension…..)

    It is now starting to break in the MSM – and in fact all they are prepared to offer is no more than a 20 day extension not beyond 18 April and only to allow something that can be completed in that time, with the caveat that we must ‘stump up’ an administrative payment of €8bn (£7bn) up front. They are adamant that we must either be out or be in before the purdah period for the euro elections, we are not to be an issue. No part of the proposed Withdrawal Agreement is up for re-negotiation irrespective of who is in government, and if we do extend the leaving payment also increases to €50bn (£45bn). The EU have ruled out further talks.

    Apparently Team May signalled they will not be seeking an extension and when the terms were repeated to Team Corbyn yesterday they appeared ‘shocked’.

    @JIM JAM – 8-10 weeks lead-in is a different ball game though. no?

  46. @ADW
    With regards my last post (Whispers are emanating from the Continent that both Team May at the weekend and Team Corbyn yesterday were left with no illusions about an Article 50 extension…..)
    It is now starting to break in the MSM – and in fact all they are prepared to offer is no more than a 20 day extension not beyond 18 April and only to allow something that can be completed in that time

    Okay this should be easy for you, give a link to a mainstream media outlet that says that.

    This is one from the Express (hardly a pro remain paper) which disagrees with you
    ‘BRUSSELS is reportedly making preparations for Theresa May to renege on her pledge to deliver Brexit by March 29 as EU officials plan to push back Britain’s departure by three months.’


    ‘Just think of the policy positions of the TIG across anything that is not Brexit and you end up with no grouping whatsoever’ –

    But in the short term potentially that is all they will need to coalesce around – similar to the coupon election they can put up candidates who are for a ‘peoples vote’ and paper over other differences. As we are in a period of hung parliaments etc with trad. parties and the electorate potentially fracturing many voters may not be voting with a great expectation of the party they vote for becoming the govt. but to send a message / get their voice heard. Their position on other issues may evolve over time, and they purposefully may not set themselves up in the form of trad. parties. This is different to the SDP – who had a more coherent underlying philosophy to start with. It will be interesting to see if the group continues to gain support from both Tories and Labour.

  48. @ADW

    Not a surprise, of course. With no time left for either a referendum or general election to resolve matters, even with a month’s extension, that then leaves I think five choices:

    1) Parliament affirmatively votes for a no-deal exit. Clearly there are not the votes for this.

    2) Parliament affirmatively votes for May’s deal as-is. There are not the votes for this right now, so it would rely on Labour voting for it or at least largely abstaining. I can’t see how even under extreme time pressure this happens or how Labour survives being seen to have supported May’s deal if it does.

    3) Parliament affirmatively votes for unilateral revocation (maybe with some “intent” to then hold an election or referendum on resubmitting). Under extreme time pressure Labour could probably be convinced to do that instead of voting for “May’s failed Brexit” but they would need quite a few Conservative rebels as well. TIG probably have to agree to replace DUP on the Conservative C&S arrangement following this outcome, at least in the short-term.

    4) No affirmative vote takes place for anything, May allows no-deal to happen by default. Possible, though a lot of her MPs are on record as resigning if this happens. This would probably lead very rapidly to a general election if there was any significant disruption caused.

    5) No affirmative vote takes place for anything, May unilaterally revokes, perhaps with a C&S replacement deal with TIG. General election or referendum re-run to resubmit A50 would be very likely as a follow-up, I think.

    I’m expecting at this stage that it will be one of ‘4’ or ‘5’, it will basically be May’s choice and her’s alone – and whichever she goes for she’s likely to have to step down immediately afterwards – and I have no idea at all which she will do.

  49. NEILJ @ ADW

    Thanks for the link.

    The current state of play is entirely consistent with DANNY’s theory.

  50. CIM

    Good post, although I think your option 4 unlikely.

    She can’t be removed as party leader thanks to the recent vote of Con MPs, which somewhat limits the nutters’ options.

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