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. CIM

    I should have added that the creation of TIG can only make it more difficult for any deal to be passed through the HoC.

  2. RedRich,

    Agree re SDP, although I am reminded of Roy Jenkins rebuke for David Owen that political parties are not formed over a weapon system.

  3. Millie

    “It does seem that the planets are beginning to align for his (D Milliband’s) return to Westminster politics.”

    Hmmm. Any idea how? I somehow doubt he’d be selected as a Labour candidate atm.

  4. ADW; what’s your source on that? If true it blows Cooper-Letwin out of the water and putts us back on to May’s ‘plan’ of “vote for my deal or get no deal”.

  5. CIM,
    “May unilaterally revokes, ”

    Somewhere back in the threads should be a post by me arguing she was chosen as PM precisely so there would be someone in post who would be willing to do this.

    I keep thinking back to the satires lampooning May, and how aptly her behaviour fits. This might be because she has always played a part which is a caricature of a committed politician.

    May, the EU and MPs seem to have agreed there will be no election and no referendum. If we withdraw notice, i assume it will be on the understanding an intent to leave remains in place, but it just isnt possible right now. I’d assume if we eventually decide on a referendum, it will not be until there is a likelihood of a clear result. MPs probably would rather just bury it.

    Barbazenzero,
    “She can’t be removed as party leader thanks to the recent vote of Con MPs,”

    Good of Rees Mogg and co to set up Mrs May’s magic shield with such perfect timing.

  6. @ROSIEANDDAISIE

    “I guess we could end up with a political grouping whose main ideology/policy platform is to rejoin the EU”.

    It is my guess that if we wanted to rejoin the EU it would be without any of the opt outs we presently enjoy, including we would have to join the € (this would I thought also apply to an independent Scotland).

    I voted to remain, and will do so again if given a chance (on the present terms), but I not sure that I would vote to rejoin without the opt outs (see Greece, for example) – the economic position would have to be very dire for me to do so.

    I believe that a party that stood in a GE for rejoining the EU without the opt outs would struggle (unless the economic position was that dire).

  7. @REDRICH
    @JIM JAM

    is not that the problem that post brexit comes up upon us rather quickly and as I have said none of the protagonists have done that much to change the fate of Brexit. Nor can any of them do so. as I understand the parliamentary arithmetic goes they have not voted for a change of government as in terms of the three tories which would get a different dynamic in power. They have actually done nothing that would not rehabilitate them back into their respective parties.

    Brexit in many ways is a done deal (No deal as I see it, not that I’d want that but the only way to stop it or overturn it was last year. I suspect even now that the CoM has decided there is not a version of the HoC that will agree on enough to get it through parliament other than unicornish style amendments and fudge.

    My point is that this is over in anything but who do we blame sense. So we all agree Brexit is and going to be bad and we cannot really do much about it but then what………

  8. @DANNY

    I can understand that Corbyn doing this he has both Members and the PLP behind him but May in order to do that she would need the parliamentary party and the members behind her. She would also need the EU to basically allow the UK back into the fold, have MEPs and the like do you think they would prefer that damaging situation to the other damaging situation of no deal?

    I think we have been rather too parochial about this watching this from Dublin I get the feeling that everyone is being polite but in the main our actions as a collective seems to suggest that they would like to say ‘go forth and multiply’ in rather fewer words. After all if you look at it from abroad that is been essentially what is being said to the them

  9. @ JJ – lots of rumours around but since Kyle amendment has nowhere near the numbers to pass I’d expect it is pulled.

    Cooper2 is vague but I thought Cooper1 would have been closer than it was. To pass it will need a much bigger split in CON but May can’t avoid that.

    Even if she goes to Brussels to ask for delay, they’ll ask “for what” and then we’re back to square1 with 2 more weeks gone

  10. No one else reported this here?

    Plaid Cymru gain Cardiff council seat from Labour in quite a swing. Ok, so it’s not a huge election, but it’s a decent swing.

    PC: 43.1% (+17.8)
    LAB: 40.4% (-7.1)
    CON: 14.1% (-2.4)
    LDEM: 2.4% (-6.2)

    ( https://twitter.com/britainelects/status/1098725921576624129 )

    So the previous result was:

    LAB: 47.5%
    PC: 25.8%
    CON 16.5%
    LDEM: 8.6%

    …which gives a little scale to the swing. I wonder if it’s a ‘local issues’ thing, or a ‘Welsh Labour’ thing, or are the national political issues creating an impact?

  11. Option 6 – fudge

  12. EOTW
    I believe the German government were keen on the EURO.The German public were very skeptical though, they did not want to give up the Deutschmark and to get them to swallow this they were promised that there wouldn’t be any bailouts of other EURO ‘states’ ever. But from the get-go the ECB implied that there was de jour a collective liability with respect to govt. bonds. This made credit easier and cheaper for the ‘PIGS’. Inevitably this earlier promise came up quite a lot in Germany during the financial turbulence a few years ago but the ECB were proved right in a sense because the PIGS (and Ireland) HAD to be helped because ‘contagion’ would have destroyed the German (and French) banks otherwise.
    (I think that’s a pretty fair depiction)

  13. Trevors

    Two words and a number. Must be your shortest post ever. And for once I read all of it. Keep it up!

  14. @David Colby

    Thanks, that makes sense.

  15. DANNY @ BZ

    Re the Con leadership vote, it would be astounding if the count of Con MPs hadn’t included enough moderates to ensure their reticent colleagues had the opportunity for the ballot to take place at a time which just happened to suit their current leader, of course.

    Re your theory in general, I do think that Con MPs in the know are fewer than you expected, but otherwise proceeding on course.

  16. PASSTHEROCKPLEASE

    You seem to have forgotten the ECJ decision that A50 can be revoked unilaterally by the member state which instigated it. Fairly clearly, that state cannot play silly Bs, but the term of a European Parliament should be long enough to prepare for an orderly exit if the next GE scheduled for 2022 should result in a majority government which has a Brexit plan then A50 could be invoked around 2 years before the 2024 EP elections.

    Obviously, the revocation would have to be before the end of this March.

  17. ADW

    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.

    Well it’s true that all the FTPA says is the polling day for the election is to be the day appointed by Her Majesty by proclamation on the recommendation of the Prime Minister but politically no PM is going to be allowed to hang on more than the absolute minimum after losing a vote of confidence (which I don’t think that likely at the moment). The Palace won’t want to appoint someone else (possibly a caretaker) but it may be least worst option. Even with Bank Holidays, 26 days back from 23 May only takes you to early April.

    In any case, unless there’s a complete revocation of A50, there won’t be any Euro-elections. Even if the UK is still nominally in the EU, a way will be found by the EU for them not to be needed in the UK.

    I’m not completely convinced by some of these rumours, the details (such as an increase in the payment) look too arbitrary for the EU. It looks more like British projecting of what they would like to do if they were on the other side. But of course the EU is too rule-bound to do that (both a good and bad thing – sometimes at the same time).

    As so often in the London media it all seems to be based on wishful thinking rather than knowledge. Which pretty much sums up Brexit, when you think about it.

  18. Excert from Financial Times (there’s a lot more behind their paywall which I would reproduce but I don’t want to jeopardise Anthony’s site. Copyright and all that gonads.). More media sources also now running with it. Barnier also warning that the EU knees-up at Sharm El Sheikh will not be used to discuss Brexit as the agenda is full and 4 leaders won’t be there anyway so it can’t be discussed without them.

    FT:-Short on time?
    If Britain leaves the EU without a deal next month, Europe’s Brexit negotiators will not end talks but reset their clocks to a new cliff-edge date: April 18.
    After 20 days of likely disorder at ports, supermarkets and borders, the deadline will be Britain’s chance to avoid a more lasting rupture with its biggest trading partner — if it can stomach the price.
    By April 18, according to European Commission contingency plans, Britain must confirm whether to make about €7bn of net contributions to the EU’s budget for 2019. The first payments, which require House of Commons approval, are scheduled for April 30; EU negotiators say missing them will “ruin” relations.
    Driving the EU side will be a new aim: making Britain meet its withdrawal treaty obligations, including the €45bn budget bill and backstop arrangements to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland, even though the treaty itself will have perished.
    As a result, a no-deal exit would kick off the most fast-paced and consequential period of negotiations since the Brexit referendum in 2016. “This is when it all shakes out,” said one senior EU diplomat closely involved in Brexit.

  19. “Even with Bank Holidays, 26 days back from 23 May only takes you to early April.”

    For the dissolution.

    In 2017 the section 2(1) FTPA vote was on 19 April and the dissolution was 3 May, 15 days later.

    Early April for the dissolution probably means mid-March for the vote if its a section 2(1) again.

    And if its a Section 2(3), presumably mid-March is the 14 day point, and an initial vote next week quite possibly fits the bill.

    Don’t see it myself, but a May election is about right from here.

  20. Lots of reports now that May is being given ultimatums to leave in 3 months time by cabinet ministers.

    This will be interesting for Brexit, as MPs tend to become far less controllable if their leader is losing grip on power.

  21. @ADW February 22nd, 2019 at 5:19 pm

    But that is not what you were claiming, that is not an extension, it doesn’t mention anything about it’s position on whether it would agree an extension.
    It says failing a deal they will resume talks on the 18/4, in the meantime if there was no deal ‘after 20 days of likely disorder at ports, supermarkets and borders, the deadline will be Britain’s chance to avoid a more lasting rupture with its biggest trading partner — if it can stomach the price.’

    No where does it say they would not agree an extension if asked for.To remind you this is what you said

    @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’

    The good thing is that we do not have long to wait now to see if we ask for an extension and whether it is granted

  22. ADW

    That seems to an FT article from 3 days ago, but it seems to have been picked up by MSN and can be read here:

    https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/brexit/no-deal-sets-the-stage-for-brexits-biggest-negotiations/ar-BBTVsP4?li=BBoPRmx

    It sounds more like what you would expect to happen than the earlier rumours, though it’s worth emphasising that a lot of the EUR 7 billion wouldn’t be new money but part of the payments already calculated as due under the WA.

    It’s also worth saying that if the UK ends up negotiating a lot of separate ad hoc agreements as the piece suggests, rather than being some sort of Brexit triumph and the way that ‘we’ want to do things, it will be a disaster. Because by separating things out, it means the UK can’t bargain between areas, divide and rule will be applied. And topics which might be more to the advantage of the UK than the EU will simply be ignored. That’s before you consider that the UK will effectively be negotiating under potential siege.

  23. I’ve been informed that at least one group of UK government analysts are being moved from normal office hours to a shift system to provide a 24 hour facility.

    Also that said analysts are very much into stockpiling in anticipation of supply problems.

    Whether this is significant, I don’t know, but increasing my wine cellar stock seems a wise precaution.

  24. @ON and getting stuck into drinking it, and even more essential measure.

  25. @roger mexico

    This piece by Ian Dunt is interesting re the EP elections and their implications for Brexit:

    http://www.politics.co.uk/blogs/2019/02/21/the-real-brexit-cliff-edge-is-not-on-march-29th-it-s-july-1s

  26. TREVOR WARNE

    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

    There’s a logical difference though. In theory an MP is elected in their own person. Colin for example has frequently mentioned the Burkean distinction between a representative and a delegate – whether of Party or, as it would have been more in Burke’s day, the actual constituents. Changing Party while claiming to be still holding on to your political principles is in line with this sort of mandate.

    Equally an MP is elected for a particular period (especially since the FTPA), so they can claim that they are entitled to serve it out as part of that personal mandate. Whether you support those arguments is another matter, the reality is that most MPs get most of their votes because they are the candidate of a particular Party. But what would be hypocritical is to complain about Party members having control over their MPs and then moan about MPs changing Parties without the approval of the electorate.

    A referendum however is meant to capture the opinion of the voters at a particular time and authorise a certain action. But if that opinion changes (and there’s plenty of polling evidence to say it has with regard to Brexit) then it is the correct thing to do to ask again if people want the process redone. There’s less polling evidence that there is support that there should be a re-run or a different referendum on the same topic (it’s very question-dependent), but the principle is clear.

    And it’s not time dependent either. It’s not like an election where people are being asked to put a particular Party into power for a set length of time with the understanding that they can’t be changed during that time if they become unpopular. If ‘democratic’ means anything it has to be based on the will of the people and that has to be what they want now – not at some time in the past.

  27. Charles

    Very true! How else to survive the Brexit process?

  28. @Alec

    “Lots of reports now that May is being given ultimatums to leave in 3 months time by cabinet ministers.

    This will be interesting for Brexit, as MPs tend to become far less controllable if their leader is losing grip on power.”

    Only if there’s no deal or no EU agreed extension. Frankly, I can’t see TM going down the no deal route. If her brinkmanship over the WA fails, she’s simply ask for an extension of time. There will be no other viable alternative.

    Either way, it seems as if Labour are about to committ to a second referendum in some form. This was always inevitable. It’s a roll of the dice in some ways but it’s a necessary precondition for the preservation of party unity. Corbyn’s inner circle may not like it but it is the overwhelming will of the party membership and Corbyn can’t just pick and choose his populism.

  29. Roger Mexico

    FT has been recycling some parts and fills these in with different perspectives.

    There are more political bits in today ones. Sorry, I ran out of vouchers to include in this month.

    https://www.ft.com/content/738a995a-35ca-11e9-bd3a-8b2a211d90d5

    Otherwise I fully agree with your conclusions.

  30. I hope the voucher works.

    Jeremy Corbyn writing to Jeremy Corby a resignation letter, and Jeremy Corbyn writes a response to the resignation letter to Jeremy Corbyn.

    https://www.ft.com/content/6f08418a-3547-11e9-bd3a-8b2a211d90d5?fbclid=IwAR0oDOFw0pNzWrMsq2CNn3go-rMLUyvh7B1Gb5hHVN3LQ4DP5Ekfh6oxLYA

  31. @ADW – when you hear whispers, best to ask them to speak up a bit. It sounds like you’ve completely misunderstood what they were saying.

    The FT isn’t talking about an extension to April 18th – only that this is the deadline for the UK to agree to contribute to the 2019 budget, which is where the £7bn figure comes from. If we don’t say yes, then we are telling the EU we’ll have a non-cooperative no deal, which is basically sh!t hitting fan type of stuff, where they have a great deal more sh!t to throw at the fan than we do.

  32. In other News:

    We never learn. Banks are again lending stupidly and the people are falling for it:
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6735341/First-time-buyers-forced-borrow-nearly-four-times-salary-housing-market.html

  33. TIG “will back May in any vote of confidence” says Allen

    https://t.co/VwC03zaM0t

    Assuming that this is actually the Group decision, it would make sense for centrists to prefer the party leader who they view as fighting against her extremists, to the one that they see as representing the extremists in his.

  34. Pete

    Or maybe the banks learnt very well that they would be protected, and their customers would be the ones allowed to fail?

  35. Robert Newark (7:57am)
    “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.”

    Exactly. If the appeasers fail, we shall foil them for the third time.
    ————————–
    Hireton (8:06am)
    “And xenophobia has no part in Brexit.”

    Perhaps, but reality does.
    —————-
    Danny (8:24am)
    “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?”

    No.
    —————————————
    Alec (8:33am)
    “We have the worst social deficit in modern times,”

    What does that mean exactly? What is a social deficit and how is it measured? How do you define modern times?
    ——————————-
    JimJam (10:03am)
    “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.”

    Unless of course you’re a white person left behind in a predominately immigrant area. Let’s not forget that racism is not something only one lot can be guilty of.
    ————————
    R&D (10:50 am)
    “But really, who amongst us has a clue of where this is all leading.”

    I totally agree, but there will probably be someone who will claim to be able to predict it exactly. Or will claim to have done so 6 months after the dust has settled.
    ———————–
    Roger Mexico (7:12pm)
    “That’s before you consider that the UK will effectively be negotiating under potential siege.”

    We do trade with the rest of the world you know. And in the scenario you suggest would that trade be likely to grow or reduce? or perhaps the EU Navy is going to try to blockade Bristol Liverpool and Glasgow?

    (8:34pm)
    “But if that opinion changes (and there’s plenty of polling evidence to say it has with regard to Brexit) then it is the correct thing to do to ask again if people want the process redone.”

    So if as often happens, a government falls 10% in Opinion polls mid-term we should automatically have a GE? I don’t think so.
    ——————————-
    OldNat (7:18pm)
    “Whether this is significant, I don’t know, but increasing my wine cellar stock seems a wise precaution.”

    Plenty of nice English wine available. :-)
    ————————-
    RAF (8:48pm)
    “it seems as if Labour are about to committ to a second referendum in some form. ”
    But is there time to even determine what the question should be before March 29th?

  36. ON – I think RedRich got this right when he said fear of ushering in a Corbyn led Government was probably holding back some Tory remain/soft leave rebels.

    They can rebel, confident this is even less likely now.

    I wonder if some of the Labour 8 (plus Austin) would abstain on a VOC rather than voting with the Tories?

  37. Alec
    As we will have left on March 29th, why would we contribute to the 2019 budget? I’m assuming their financial year is roughly the same as ours, and presumably that is one reason the date was chosen.

    At present our economy is doing a lot better than Germany’s ‘despite Brexit’ (or possibly because of it, but of course we shouldn’t say that because it’s not PC). There have been assurances from the Civil Service that they are much better prepared than some politicians would like us to think.

  38. Pete B

    “We do trade with the rest of the world you know. ”

    Yes, because of the EU trade agreement. The UK has some renegotiated ones with five countries or so.

    If the whole thing ends at the end of March, most of the ship’s that left far foreign ports, and British ships heading to far foreign ports won’t be able to enter these porta. All insurance policies and all freight securities would be invalid.

    Oh, and while the UK imports banana form Central-America, almost all of it come through an Irish company… And so on and so forth.

    The UK politicians really cannot contemplate hard (illegal) Brexit with having trade agreement with a few, not particularly important, countries.

  39. Laszlo
    You really think may countries are going to want to p*ss off the fifth-biggest economy and leading financial centre in the world? Dream on.

    “Yes, because of the EU trade agreement.”

    The EU doesn’t even have trade agreements with many of our existing trading partners anyway. And do you really think that ships will be sent on voyages overlapping March 29th without some arrangements in place beforehand in case a so-called ‘No Deal’ happens? What planet are you people on? Do you have no knowledge or experience of business at all?

  40. I see three Government ministers are now saying publicly that if there is no deal next week we should seek an extension
    It does pile the pressure on and in normal times Government ministers going off message would be considered a sackable offence, but May is too weak to do anything about it

  41. PB
    As I understand it there already are ships en route that won’t arrive ’til after 29/3. Just as we don’t know whether we’re going ‘no deal’, they have no idea of the trade regime they will face when they arrive. Random shippers in the Far East haven’t been handed secret assurances, indeed can’t have been given any sort of assurance about what they face on arrival at UK ports. Obviously shippers closer to the UK will have more time to assimilate implications but if it goes to the wire I can see shipping being delayed ’til things clarify.

  42. @Pete B – re social deficit, I agree it is a somewhat nebulous concept, but it can be conceptualized quite straightforwardly: if you you can imagine all the NHS trust deficits, the record waiting lists, the reduction in service standards, add in the school academy chains in deficit and schools where parents are being asked to contribute to buy books, look at the people facing catastrophic cuts to their disability allowances because of ludicrous decisions by Capita, factor in the state of UK roads, have a think about how many old people are stuck without adequate home care, consider the catastrophic state of UK prisons and the collapse in cases being investigated by the police, ponder about aircraft carriers without aircraft, etc etc.

    If you have a little imagination, it isn’t very hard to get a mental picture in your mind that in virtually every part of government activity, there is a decline in metrics, a reduction ins service, and a financial deficit and backlog of required investment. In many areas this really is the worst things have been in modern political times.

    “As we will have left on March 29th, why would we contribute to the 2019 budget?”

    Firstly, we committed to doing so when the current budget period was agreed. Secondly, it would be in our interests to do so, in order to retain good working relationships with the EU were we to crash out on March 29th without deal.

    Were we not to show good faith and effectively stick two fingers up to the EU, I suspect people like you will be very surprised at just how bad things get, and how quickly this happens.

    There would be an immediate hit in certain areas, and a more controlled squeeze in other areas (like finance) where the EU risks too much disruption itself from a sharp break with the UK. The EU are already managing the various areas and marshalling their resources to protect themselves.

  43. passtherockplease,
    some while ago Matthew parris wrote an article arguing he and his mates could see no good outcome whatever for the tory party from the referendum result. i’m not just following him but rather see this as confirmation of my view too. the matter then becomes heading for the least worst outcome, and this has always seemed for responsibility to be taken away from the conservatives. they might have lost that election. they might be opposed effectively by parliament. as a last resort they might divide their own vote and defeat themselves.

    in the meanwhile everything they have done has laid bare problems with executing brexit which have either encouraged voters to move to remain, or provided justification for delay , postponement or cancellation.

    if they see the consequences of an indefinite delay as less damaging than brexit, that’s where they will go.

    the opposition is likely united with the government on this view of brexit, but for very similar electoral reasons wants the tories to make the decision and get the blame.

    my view is eventually we end up as eu members. either on the current favourable terms or on the considerably inferior may terms, but eventually if we do leave then on renegotiated membership without our current fees remissions and other opt outs. if we leave now London banking supremacy is toast. the eu will not allow us to keep it. confidence in UK as an industrial base has already been shattered and will take a long time to recover post rejoin.

  44. passtherockplease,
    some while ago Matthew parris wrote an article arguing he and his mates could see no good outcome whatever for the tory party from the referendum result. i’m not just following him but rather see this as confirmation of my view too. the matter then becomes heading for the least worst outcome, and this has always seemed for responsibility to be taken away from the conservatives. they might have lost that election. they might be opposed effectively by parliament. as a last resort they might divide their own vote and defeat themselves.

    in the meanwhile everything they have done has laid bare problems with executing brexit which have either encouraged voters to move to remain, or provided justification for delay , postponement or cancellation.

    if they see the consequences of an indefinite delay as less damaging than brexit, that’s where they will go.

    the opposition is likely united with the government on this view of brexit, but for very similar electoral reasons wants the tories to make the decision and get the blame.

    my view is eventually we end up as eu members. either on the current favourable terms or on the considerably inferior may terms, but eventually if we do leave then on renegotiated membership without our current fees remissions and other opt outs. if we leave now London banking supremacy is toast. the eu will not allow us to keep it. confidence in UK as an industrial base has already been shattered and will take a long time to recover post rejoin.

  45. millie

    “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.”

    My aching sides! The Wrong Miliband!

    Let’s start a new war and illegally render some poor souls to where they can be tortured.

    Oh my good gould, Terence.

  46. @statgeek. The Cardiff ward in question is just down the road from me; it’s part of the city’s largest estate and while a Lab stronghold PC have always polled respectably there and the area’s longest serving councillor, former City Leader Russell Goodway has never been popular so is always used as an effective bogeyman by opponents. This may be a feak result, turnout was very low; however there is a new Welsh poll out on Monday and Roger Scully has been tweeting to expect surprises. The section on Remain/Leave has already been published showing decisive opposition to No Deal and strong support for Remain (this is clearly a trend here in Wales that has been mappable for the last yr)

    If there are changes in party VI as Roger Scully suggests I’m assuming that means a significant Labour fall. In Wales the normal beneficiaries of Labour falls are LDs at UK level and PC at devolved level; the LDs are virtually extinct here so who knows what will happen

  47. This is a good example of the slow squeeze –

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/feb/23/eu-offers-lucrative-tax-breaks-to-firm-of-billionaire-brexiter

    There are some posters who will cite this as ‘Germany cheating’ or the ‘EU rules stacked against the UK’, but they would of course be completely wrong. All this article does is cite measures and policies that are perfectly allowable under EU law – for any member state. It’s worth noting that the figures have come from the EU themselves – because all of these measures have to be submitted to the commission for judgement as to whether they are compatible under states aid rules.

    Many of the support measures are judged valid because they are targeting specific policy objectives, such as promoting renewable energy, and it’s also worth noting that Ineos received up to EU5.8bn from the UK government in 2017 in tax rebates and £230m in loan guarantees in 2014 from HMG. So we do this stuff as well.

    One leaving the EU, we hand a number of advantages to the EU in this game – primarily regarding access to a huge market. The slow squeeze will be all about aking it worthwhile for companies to set up in the EU and not the UK, with the EU having an immediate advantage due to the single market.

  48. @peteb

    “The EU doesn’t even have trade agreements with many of our existing trading partners anyway”

    It does actually. It may not have comprehensive trade agreements with them but it has many trade related agreements which will lapse. IIRC for example it has about 70 with the USA.

    In addition, ships are already en route with cargo not knowing what tariffs etc they will face when they arrive in the Far East and vice versa. The UK Government has just said it will delay its announcement about the tariffs it will introduce in the event of a no deal because it will be too controversial to do so next week in advance of the next votes.

    Finally, it is not a question of a cessation of trade it is a question of certainty, cash flow and competitiveness.

    What we do know is Brexiters view of business: “f!’k business” as Johnson said.

  49. @ Red Rich

    “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.”

    I think you’re right.

    If they could form a party that appealled to the 48% plus who voted to Remain, they might be onto something. Especially if you have the Tories and Labour splitting everything else. If they take along existing MPs, they then at least look credible.

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