There are two polls in this morning’s papers – Survation in the Mail and YouGov in the Times.

Survation have topline figures of CON 35%(-5), LAB 39%(+3), LDEM 10%(nc), UKIP 5%(nc). Fieldwork was on Friday, and changes are from mkid-February.
YouGov have topline figures of CON 35%(-5), LAB 31%(nc), LDEM 12%(+1), UKIP 6%(+3). Fieldwork was Thursday to Friday, and changes are from the start of March.

The overall leads are different, but that’s to be expected (Survation tend to produce figures that are better for Labour than most pollsters, YouGov tend to produce figures that are better for the Conservatives). The more interesting thing is what they have in common – both are showing a significant drop in Conservative support. As ever, it is worth waiting for other polls to show a similar trend before putting too much weight on it, but on first impressions it looks as though the ongoing chaos over Brexit may be starting to eat into Tory support.


3,209 Responses to “Survation and YouGov both show drop in Tory support”

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  1. ADW,

    “The only way you could have devolved immigration is with a hard border between Scotland and rUK”

    But it’s okay to do a deal with the EU that doesn’t have a hard border with the Republic and we mustn’t have a border in the Irish Sea??????

    If Scotland mustn’t be the “Back Door into Britain!” then neither can the Republic.

    If it’s okay for the Republic then Scotland should be fine.

    Trying to argue that you can have it for one and not the other just makes you look daft!

    Peter.

  2. A thought just occurred which is simple, if not simplistic, but I haven’t seen it expressed before.

    Most leave voters don’t believe EU membership has had any benefit for Britain. The UK’s recovery from being the ‘sick man of Europe’ in 1973 is in no way due our membership. Therefore they don’t believe that losing membership will cause any problems.

    If a hard brexit transpires, we’ll soon see the truth or otherwise of that belief.

  3. GARJ

    The backstop will be there whether no deal or deal, imo.

  4. Why is Uk Polling Report now so slow in updating the latest polls ? It is over a fortnight since the previous update and there have been several polls published since then in various journals eg Evening Standard et alia. It never used to be so tardy with its reports which were sometimes published on successive days. Gone on holiday ?

  5. SHEVII
    “Common Market 2 could have got through with TIG and LD support.
    Customs Union could have got through with any of SNP, TIG or LD support.”

    You have a point on Remainer purist intransigence in respect of TiG and most LibDems, but not the SNP for me.

    To a crude approximation both Labour and SNP moved one click away from their ideal position in what they supported last night, but neither was quite prepared to move two clicks. SNP couldn’t do CU only, Labour couldn’t do revoke [1]. The reasons why have been well rehearsed by both parties.

    It is the LDs and Tiggers who have shown themselves possessed of the same head-banging purity as the ERG. They couldn;t bear anything that threatened their pet project.

    [1] I am choosing, as Ian Blackford did, to ignore the carefully crafted wording of Joanna Cherry’s motion and call a vote for that a “vote for Revoke”. Even if Blackford hadn’t called it that, the media always would have done.I’d give Ms Cherry the benefit of the doubt in trying herself to craft a genuine compromise, but it was always going to be “the Revoke” amendment whatever it said.

  6. @DAVID IN FRANCE

    When my parent came to the UK They did not understand the Englishman Irishman Scotsman Welshman jokes

    All these nationalities they met were supposed to be clever. My mum and Dad went to grammar schools in West Africa and if you don’t pass your yearly exam you don’t go to the next year and have to repeat the year so again they felt that everyone who went to grammar school was the bees knees. My mum particularly was less than impressed with manners and etiquette (she complained once that when she was in residentials their meals were silver service and most of them did not know that putting your knife and fork together signified you had finished)

  7. Somerjohn,

    “If a hard brexit transpires, we’ll soon see the truth or otherwise of that belief.”

    Not necessarily, if four decades of membership, regional assistance, agricultural support, integration and alignment with the EU have been beneficial for our Economy those benefits won’t disappear overnight.

    Even in a No Deal scenario we will still start more closely linked with the EU, our biggest trading partner, than most Countries.

    It would of course be ironic if we weathered Brexit because of what our membership has done for us only for some to say that it proved membership had done nothing for us, but I expect many would!

    What will be interesting over time is how we go about tackling the thorny issues we were often tacitly happy for the EU to deal with for us.

    How exactly are we going to support agriculture, our version of CAP a sort of BINO for farmers, a sink or swim free market approach or a hybrid.

    I think it’s a particular dilemma for the Tories as the splits between No Deal and Soft Brexit will resurface between traditional pro farmer support Tories and free market no subsidies Tories, pro the City service economy investment Tories from urban seats offering cheaper food and traditional rural farming seat Tories backing struggling local farmers.

    Will we replace the CFP with a National scheme, a NFP or devolve it to the different parts of the U.K. Or local community management.

    Central Government Defra and civil servants will probably favour NFP, Scotland, Northern Ireland & Wales devolution and fishing communities local control and freedom to catch more fish, likely universally supported by local MP’s.

    What happens if we give the fishing communities what they want and they over fish…no more blaming Brussels!

    It looks clear a majority wanted back control. What isn’t clear is if they know what they want to do with it or can agree or if they will take the responsibility they now have and use it responsibly.

    It will be interesting to see just how good a job we do when the have to handle the things we criticised so readily the way the EU handled them?

    Peter.

  8. @SOMERJOHN

    David Kelly came to the conclusion that in order to show that there was no WMD you would have to invade Iraq

    I believe we have always been in that simple situation. You cannot prove that leaving the EU will be negative or positive you can only show it.

    So the issue is the cost/benefit of showing one compared to the other. If you look at it like that then I of course would plump for remain but I suspect the real problem is I cannot prove it is the correct call

    it is why I use Iraq as this was the same issue

  9. @PeterW

    I agree with what you say.

    I mean I’m not entirely convinced how much compromise is in the SNP but they have either been genuine in their willingness to engage and compromise or been very clever in their stance to appear engaged and I am happy to give them the benefit of the doubt.

    I’m not especially criticising anyone’s viewpoint, even ERG. If they believe in something then they believe in it and if Lib Dems believe that remain is the only viable option then that’s their right. But my comments are in the context of comments on here saying Labour is not compromising enough and are refusing to support deals they are OK with just to stuff the Tories.

    The truth is that with the can of worms opened there is no deal that appeals to Labour voters universally. In my humble opinion the Tories won 2015 precisely because of their referendum policy which has given them 4 years in power (very much against Labour voters interests) and yet Labour is supposed to bend over backwards for the “good of the country” to agree a compromise that they don’t really agree with anyway.

  10. Shevii et al.

    Agreed re hardcore PV contingent’s unwillingness to compromise. It seems they’ve decided it’s Remain or bust and when I look at some of the most ardent proponents of a 2nd ref I have my doubts about their ability to gauge the public mood. A referendum between May’s deal and Remain is still a referendum between an undefined Brexit and Remain. The PV argument would work a lot better if Brexit proposition were more clearly defined (which takes us back to the very limited scope of the WA).

    What continues to anger me is the large number of MPs who voted against no deal but don’t have the spine to vote for amendments that have been carefully worded to use Revoke if and only if there is no other alternative to no deal. It would, of course, be much better to refer to those amendments as ‘failsafe Revoke’ rather than just ‘Revoke’.

    Letwin wanted a voting system that would be difficult to game, but from where I’m sitting right now it looks as if MPs tried and failed to do just that.

  11. @ADW

    The UK has put the border in the Irish Sea as the WA would suggest. They have done that unilaterally but as Gove himself has said illegally since the tariff regime will be zero rated if good pass the EU/UK boarder (that happens to be NI/RoI)

    The problem has always been no the WA it is obvious as to the fact that we would need to keep regulatory alignment for NI but the fact that DUP got a foothold in the deal. The issue will remain until we have a deal and I suspect it would look like and smell like the WA

    What the equivalent to the PD looks like is anyones guess. ERG want Canada (I am not sure there is any rationale from the EU to allow any pluses with respect to services) There are political reasons for not having London as the centre for eurotrading, many that came to light over the Greek tragedy.

    But as I said this has little to do with the EU at this stage in my view but everythign to do with what sort of nation we want economically and politically as PETER CAIRNS (SNP) has said

  12. @SHEVII

    “A situation not wanted by Labour, not created by Labour with no ideal solutions that appeal to all Labour constituencies and yet somehow Labour are also the bad guys?”

    Yes I agree. LAB’s policy and actions have been quite reasonable. Except obviously to diehard Remainers and hard Brexiteers.

  13. @ PETER (SNP) / Others – The idea of devolved (or even regional) immigration policies goes way back. Watson suggested it back in Feb’17 and UKPR has discussed it before.

    I’ll stick to my view that it doesn’t need to be 100% all-weather perfect but given the low population density on Scottish side of the border then why not “trial” it and fix any problems that arise later.

    Illegal immigrants can fly in on a cheap flight with a tourist visa and “overstay” so I don’t see this drama about using Ireland or a future Scotland as a route into E+W.

    London would want a similar deal on immigration to Scotland and that would be more difficult to control but give it 5yrs or so in Scotland to iron out any “teething problems” and then maybe roll it out elsewhere?

    https://www.politicshome.com/news/uk/home-affairs/immigration/news/83283/labour-plans-regional-immigration-policy-next-election

    PS I doubt this would make SNP “fold” and we clearly don’t have time to sort it out before 12April but that doesn’t mean it isn’t something we couldn’t revisit later as part of a “devo-max” discussion and/or IndyRef2

    PPS The polling on this issue shows Scots were only slightly less against immigration than rUK and there is still the issue of workers actually wanting to live+work in Scotland. Both of these factors are why I don’t see the problem spiralling out of control and why I’d be happy to give Holyrood something that should not be a major concern to Westminster.

  14. Preventing no deal – a rant

    It seems tomorrow’s session is to be used for the Cooper/Letwin/Boles bill, which keeps being described as ‘a bill to prevent no deal’. Unless v5 is radically different from v4 it’s not. It just instructs PM to seek an extension. It doesn’t even instruct the PM to accept a conditional extension.

    I hope Cherry tries to amend it and I hope interviewers will ask Starmer when he does think the time will be right for some sort of failsafe revoke option.

    And whilst I’m at it…

    I wish the popcorn munchers would remember that some UK citizens can’t afford to be disiniterested spectators and find very little to be amused by in what’s happening.

    Ditto those who say with one breath that Brexit would be an unparalleled national disaster and with the next that maybe it’s a price worth paying to wreck the Tory party.

  15. I don’t think you can lump ERG in with LDems and TIG.

    Simply put, ERG hardliners have voted against EVERYTHING except ‘No Deal’

    LDems and TIG (I think) have abstained in respect of their less preferred options (CU and CM2) and only voted against May’s deal and ‘No Deal’.

    If the Tories had adopted the same approach (vote down the most unacceptable, abstain on the bearable, vote for the preferred) then both CU and CM2 would have sailed through.

    Equally, if Labour had done the same.

    I’m finding attempts to shift blame for this sh1tshow away from the Tories rather laughable. Corbyn, Labour, TIG, LDems, SNP, Remainers: none of them carry the can for this shambles; this is a Tory production, owned, managed and delivered by them alone…

  16. @ PETERW / SHEVII – You’ll find this article interesting:

    “ANALYSIS: Remainer ideologues are just as hardline as Brexiteers”

    https://www.politicshome.com/news/uk/foreign-affairs/brexit/analysis/102998/analysis-remainer-ideologues-are-just-hardline

    May was a bit early on blaming MPs perhaps but funny how it has turned out.

    If I get time I’ll think up some “an SNP, a TIGger and a LDEM” jokes. I did post a fun comment before this IV process about 3 Remainer Tr0lls in the Hobbit being too busy discussing how to eat the Brexiteers that they forget that the sun was about to come up and turn them to stone ;)

    However, a cynic could say these 3 parties want “No Deal”:

    SNP – increases chance of Indy
    LDEM – increases chance of Rejoin sans vetoes
    TIG – ensures Soubs extends her 5minutes of fame ;)

    For the first two they would hope to gain seats in next GE by having a “purist” view on Remain. Apart from Heidi Allen, I’m not sure TIG would win any/many seats but I’m keen to see them try ;)

  17. Link to Cooper/Letwin/Boles bill for tomorrow:

    https://services.parliament.uk/Bills/2017-19/europeanunionwithdrawalno5.html

    I’ll be keen to see what Macron+co think of it. Assuming it passes then we send May, assuming it is still her and she accepts, to the emergency EU summit to say:

    We’ve got no idea what we want, but we do want more time to disagree between ourselves – again

    Anyone aware of the EP election issue and what EC-EU27 side are saying about that? That’s a very difficult issue to fudge and looking at the recent votes I can not see a majority of MPs “enabling” EP elections (assuming EC-EU27 want us to)

  18. BFR

    “LDems and TIG (I think) have abstained in respect of their less preferred options (CU and CM2) and only voted against May’s deal and ‘No Deal’.”

    No, the 11 TIG MPs all voted against CU and CM2 last night as did the LibDems by 5 to 1 (on CU) and 4 to 2 (on CM2). If the LDs had voted on CU in the same way as they did last week (i.e abstaining except for 1 vote for and 1 against) the Customs Union motion would have been passed.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-politics-47772688

  19. @bigfatron

    Lib Dems, somewhat:
    – largely abstained on first indicative vote on CU (one for, one against)
    – mix of abstain and against on Monday’s vote on CU (net 4 against)
    – largely abstained on first indicative vote on CM2 (one for, one against)
    – mixed on Monday’s vote on CM2 (net 2 against)
    …but actually voted more against the options on Monday than the first time.

    TIG, no:
    – consistently and as a block voted against both CU and CM2 on both occasions.

    Lib Dems might not be the ERG equivalent – but TIG certainly are. The only things TIG have voted for are ones where Remain is a possible outcome.

  20. @Bantams

    “Team Letwin have given up on indicative voting and tomorrow will see a pursuit of delaying tactics options instead”

    I occasionally like to watch Aircraft Investigation. I can’t recall any episode where the pilots are accused of ‘delaying tactics’ when attempting to save the plane from disaster. :D

  21. @SORBUS

    “I wish the popcorn munchers would remember that some UK citizens can’t afford to be disiniterested spectators and find very little to be amused by in what’s happening.”

    Absolutely. No deal would be a disaster for my family and for many others I know. It will do real harm to actual people and benefit almost no-one, unless they happen to played the money markets nicely.

  22. Just spotted a Wings article from a couple of days ago that breaks down the MPs’ vote on the WA:

    “The breakdown data from last week’s vote on Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement:

    ENGLAND: 266 MPs for, 256 MPs against (51%-49%)
    SCOTLAND: 13 for, 45 against (22%-78%)
    WALES: 6 for, 33 against (15%-85%)
    NORTHERN IRELAND: 1 for, 10 against (9%-91%)

    Once again, readers, the solution to Brexit is clear.”

    Article is titled “Independence for England now”, and does highlight how England’s MPs are against the grain on the rest of the UK.

  23. @James E, CIM
    Fair enough – I’ve obviously got that one wrong!

    Many thanks for straightening my understanding out, I sometimes (often?) lose track these days…

  24. The Other [email protected]: Raining so i looked in again.

    “1 million on the March. ”

    Two studies disagree with that as i posted a couple of days ago best estimate 200,000-400,000. A good turnout but nothing like the number suggested.

    Adopting that kind of scaling, I suppose we are only getting £70 million a week for the NHS?

  25. IfG also issuing a critical piece on “People’s Vote MPs” and they even go as far to point out the ERG compromised!

    “Jacob Ree s Mogg , Chair of the European Research Group, ended up compromising to support the Prime Minister’s deal , but MPs campaigning for a People’s Vote were unwilling to accept even the softest version of Brexit”

    Yes indeed, Arch-Brexiteers were prepared to compromise to avoid “No Deal” so if/when that is where we end up then take the issue up with the ideologue MPs “campaigning for a People’s Vote” not Boris, DD, Smogg or all the others that “pinched their noses” and voted for a “bad deal”

    https://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/blog/parliament-once-again-rejected-all-brexit-options

  26. [email protected] 350,000 on your march (including children) – less than attend professional soccer matches in London alone over a weekend (in fact, it’s less than the number of people that go to Tescos in London on a saturday alone), 6 million e-mail addresses signed the petition (which is an entirely different thing to 6M UK voters) – and it still staggers me how many thick people there are who think signing government e-petitions actually does anything other than help google analytics or send Caroline Lucas into rapture. E-petitions were designed solely to give halfwits the illusion of empowerment. They get dealt with late at night, by a handful of bored MPs who would rather be in the Sports Bar. Yours was dealt with exactly that way last night.

    Then you would be OK with a referendum which you would win. Yah boo sucks.

  27. Re the discussion on crowd sizes, its worth understanding that the analysis which set the People’s Vote march at a lower figure also implies that ALL previous marches have been dramatically overstated in terms of attendance.

    So, essentially, we should restate the Stop the War march to be ~450,000, the Countryside Alliance to ~350,000, etc.

    It doesn’t change the reality that around the number of marchers was much lower than initial reports, but it does mean this was still quite likely the largest ever UK demonstration, which is perhaps significant in itself?

  28. Statgeek
    Thanks for the info about the poll on Scotland leaving the UK. very interesting. I always said the English should have been allowed to vote in the Scottish referendum, as the other party to the ‘divorce’.
    ————————
    Techni
    “1 million on the March.”

    https://www.wired.co.uk/article/brexit-march-peoples-vote-crowd-size

    ‘Based on the visuals from the helicopter image, it’s between 312,000 and 400,000 people,” explains Manchester Metropolitan University’s Keith Still, a world leader in crowd science who has developed mandatory event-monitoring training for police.’

    And anyway, marches and petitions aren’t votes, or are you advocating mob rule?
    ————————
    Danny
    “The way to world domination today is through international cooperation. EU membership gives the Uk more than it takes away, and that is why Brexit is undeliverable. Because in search of freedom we give up power.”

    I don’t think many Brits today (or perhaps ever) want world domination. Freedom will do for me anyway.

  29. PTRP

    The problem has always been no the WA it is obvious as to the fact that we would need to keep regulatory alignment for NI but the fact that DUP got a foothold in the deal. The issue will remain until we have a deal and I suspect it would look like and smell like the WA

    That’s where the beauty of a time limit to the backstop could save everybody’s bacon. By 2025 we’ll have had at least one election, if not a couple. It’s highly unlikely that the DUP will wield such influence as they do now, and whichever government is in power by then will be very keen to have concluded a trading arrangement with the EU if they haven’t done so already. They could easily agree to the regulatory alignment that everybody knows will be necessary and that the EU can insist upon, and everything will be fine. If the UK is inclined to pick WTO over that then you’re looking at a government led by hardline Eurosceptics who would probably tear up the WA anyway.

    Alas, all a bit of a moot point as the EU feel they’ve invested too much political capital in the Backstop, and want it in place to pressure the UK into accepting their best case scenario of a CU, so they’re prepared to force no deal rather than budge an inch and never mind the consequnces.

    TW

    I agree with yourself and PETER CAIRNS about regional immigration being a good idea, but as you point out there is one glaring problem with total devolution of control over it:

    London would want a similar deal on immigration to Scotland and that would be more difficult to control

    London has an unsustainable level of immigration; the population has grown by not far off 50% since the mid 90s. Far too few houses have been built to cope with the growth. That needn’t be a problem, but building those homes would by necessity mean constructing them outside of London, in areas which have already seen a substantial influx of the capital’s surplus population (an average of something like 100000 more UK born people leave London every year than move there), pushing up house prices, worsening commutes, and stretching infrastructure. London might vote for high levels of immigration, but a lot of the consequences of that decision will be borne by the surrounding areas which are likely to be strongly against it. It’s a difficult circle to square.

  30. Much debate about the impending demise of the Tory party.
    As a member of the Tory party for some 45yrs it’s true to say that Brexit has opened deep divisions in the party and within its membership.
    And as a result over the next few weeks there could be a change of Leader or/and a GE.
    It’s also true that the Tories could well lose a GE however if they stick to being a pro brexit party and can define Labour as a remain party the Tories stand a good chance of keeping Tory core voters and undermining Labour in it’s leave seats ,so any outcome of a GE is not only in the balance, but if anything likely to produce another minority government with the same problems of the one it replaces.

    However should the Conservatives lose they will then have the advantage of having a fixed term Parliament to regroup, during that time I believe they will look to put the divisive hard line brexiteers back in there box for good, as revisiting another referendum on brexit or anything else come to that will be a absolute non starter for all political parties, (can’t have those pesky voters thinking they know better than MP’s I mean we let them vote once every five years that’s more than enough interference from the great unwashed).

    Of course the Tories ace card will be Labour, should the Labour front bench and it’s membership actually endorse the Marx’s brothers policies the ensuing five years should convince the public that a regrouped Tory party with a younger leadership could be the way forward, sadly the economic harm of Corbyn’s policies will take any incoming Government several years to rectify.

  31. I am sticking to my guns and still predicting that we will not be leaving on 12 April without a deal. I believe that the EU, despite its many flaws and understandable irritation with the UK Government’s antics, will agree to an extension so we can sort ourselves out.

    At the last EU summit following May’s abject performance, when they were supposed to be discussing trade with China, all 27 Member States spent over seven hours working out what to do to protect themselves and the UK from the economic calamity of a No – deal; and after much discussion and compromise they reached a consensus.

    They could teach the Mother of Parliaments a few things. And, of course, Tusk ‘s comments indicate that the EU recognises and sympathises with the hundreds of thousands who marched and the millions who signed the Revoke petition.

    For those of us who pray that the government will see sense, it is a time to keep one’s nerve.

    Anecdote Alert :

    My Euro -sceptic brother is now saying we should Remain. He is no fool and knows which side his economic bread is buttered. A lifelong Tory voter, he feels that the kamikaze behaviour of the UK government shows that the Conservatives have lost the plot and are putting the future and reputation of our country at grave risk. He has been in Spain and Bulgaria this year and was amazed and touched by the concern, expressed by the people he met, about the UK’s plight.

    And he quite likes Corbyn !!

  32. TO

    “Adopting that kind of scaling, I suppose we are only getting £70 million a week for the NHS?”

    I have no idea what you mean by that. All I was doing was pointing out that two studies by one by Manchester Metropolitan University and one by a Dutch firm specialising in crowd control put the figures for the March at between 200,000 and 400,000.

  33. Garyj

    “London has an unsustainable level of immigration; the population has grown by not far off 50% since the mid 90s.”

    Rather an exaggeration there – it’s been more like a 35% since the low of the early 1990s. And remarkably, the population of London is now much the same as it was 80 years ago on the eve of WW2.

    https://files.datapress.com/london/dataset/population-change-1939-2015/historical%20population%201939-2015.pdf

  34. @ Statgeek

    “I can’t recall any episode where the pilots are accused of ‘delaying tactics’ when attempting to save the plane from disaster.”

    Everything is about tactics now, on BOTH sides! Letwin is just trying to find a way out as the indicative votes have failed and he’s fast running out of time.

    Jolyon Maughn has piped up about the full of flaws Letwin proposal tomorrow and he’s not a happy bunny:

    “The Cooper/Letwin Bill looks like a dangerous distraction.

    First, the timescale is too long.
    Second, it is too vague.
    Third, it doesn’t specify what happens if the EU proposes a different date.
    Fourth, it doesn’t specify what happens if the EU imposes conditions for an extension.”

  35. PETER CAIRNS (SNP) But it’s okay to do a deal with the EU that doesn’t have a hard border with the Republic and we mustn’t have a border in the Irish Sea??????

    If Scotland mustn’t be the “Back Door into Britain!” then neither can the Republic.

    We have a bilateral agreement with the Republic that pre-dates the EU, that is not applicable to eithers residents that are non-Irish/UK citizens. That would be have to done to you as well. In addition, everybody boarding a plane to travel between the RoI to Belfast, Londonderry or mainland UK to RoI is pre-screened and that would have to apply to people flying between Scotland and rUK. In addition, everyone that travels by ferry across from Ireland (NI and RoI) to the mainland is required to travel with verifiable photographic proof of identity available if requested and if under 18 be accompanied by their parent/guardian or an adult with the written consent of their parent or guardian and the same would have to apply to Scotland.

  36. Turk

    “the Tories stand a good chance of keeping Tory core voters and undermining Labour in it’s leave seats ”

    There has been some discussion earlier in this thread about Labour’s Leave voting seats, and the evidence that these have seen the largest swings to Remain of any part of the UK since 2016 – see especially Roger Mexico’s post of 1/4/19 at 4:21pm (page 60).

  37. @bantams

    On the third one, if the EU propose a different date, the PM has to bring back another motion to Parliament to accept that date.

    Still an odd approach to go for on it, though – by the time it passes, if it does, it’ll be far too late.

    @valerie

    It’s a tricky position for the EU-27, I think.

    On the one hand, there is no obvious sign that any extension of finite length will help resolve the UK’s internal issues. Government and Parliament could quite easily go on with Meaningful Vote 98 and Indicative Votes Round 74 until the 2022 general election, and perhaps beyond. It’s also a large mess in terms of the EU Parliament elections if we don’t either commit to definitely leaving or revoke before the current deadline, especially if we then get a bunch of MEPs elected – which other countries could have used – only to leave anyway six months later.

    On the other hand, they might feel bad if they refused to extend, and the UK went into an unplanned no-deal exit, followed immediately by a chaotic general election, so had absolutely no internal capacity to mitigate it or a functioning government to do so, with a fairly high risk of that chaos spilling over to affect them as well.

    I have no idea what they’ll actually do, and it’s quite possible that they don’t yet either.

  38. @ GARJ – London has a Mayor, Scotland has a devolved parliament. Hence if Holyrood want higher immigration, it would be “legally” as well as practically easier for them to “trial it”

    Worth checking some polling, quite old I’m afraid but has plenty of detail. If you open the tabs you can see the regional splits are actually fairly minor (ie the Scots on UKPR are not that representative perhaps?)

    However, I agree your points on housing, infrastructure, commuting in London-rSouth hence the “5yr” (one full parliament) “trial” in Scotland where the “population density” factors are less relevant (I’m not talking Aberdeen commuter into Aberdeen as that is intra-Scotland, I’m talking Greta Green to Carlisle versus Guildford to Canary Wharf)

    Regional x-breaks from link on attached:
    https://yougov.co.uk/topics/politics/articles-reports/2018/04/27/where-public-stands-immigration

  39. @ TURK / JAMES E – Check the link on the breakdown for the Revoke poll by seat as it also shows the Leave % in 2016 and the current majority of the relevant MP.

    https://www.livefrombrexit.com/petitions/241584

    In the top 50:
    CON-Remain seats at risk (High Remain, low majority):
    Richmond Park and 3 other London seats = 4

    In the bottom 50:
    LAB-Leave seats at risk (Low Remain, low majority)
    A lot more than 4 which is why Austin, Onn, Smeeth, Snell, Flint etc are “Soft Leave” and why Brexit is causing problems for London-Remain versus Heartlands-Leave

    Also worth looking in the bottom 50 for marginal CON seats (Walsall North, Stoke-on-Trent South, Blackpool, Pendle, etc). Those more than offset CON-London

    Hence CON might lose a few London seats but could keep and gain a lot more Midlands/North seats.

    Now for sure CON can’t get away with c0cking up a GE again. They need to actually show up this time. Make an effort to keep London seats of course (ideally with a split Remain vote) but Midlands/North is where they should have won a majority before and where they still can.

    Show these folks they are not “left behind” and that CON have a “Project After” that includes them (Regional and Sector based plan, 20.5bn per year on NHS extended out to Police and Education, etc). It will mean Hammond needs to be replaced IMHO but CON will need a few ‘scape goats to park “austerity” with a present a “clean broom” team.

    All to play for – but this time CON need to show up with a team that backs Brexit and want to win.

  40. Just having your signature verified is no guarantee it stays on once the various protections that the petition site will have in place have done their thing.

    Pretty sure if there was significant corruption then the petitions site would be saying and doing something about it. Or are they part of the elite betraying everyone too?

  41. Trevors

    It’s a Petition, not a poll.

    It is not a reliable guide as to where the greatest or least support for Leaving is found – if you believe the petition on its own, you would imagine that Essex is more pro-Remain than Northern Ireland, for example.

  42. @ADW

    So why isn’t the petition at 17.5 million?

    No one has a reasonable motive for artificially inflating the total. The petition is designed to prevent Brexit. Most of the UK’s ‘opponents’ don’t want to prevent this. The EU as a political body probably has a motive, if you believe Brexiteers, and yet it did not happen, if we consider:

    – The petition sign-ups reflected social media and mainsteam media coverage and penetration

    – There were no ‘sudden’ boosts for no apparent reason

    – No one is claiming that 6 million is the valid number, but rather some number closer to 5.5 million. As I said in a previous thread, its purpose is to highlight to Government and media the strength of opinion on a subject. It more than achieved its purpose.

    I still haven’t signed it. Scottish reasons etc.

  43. @TREVOR WARNE

    I think the strategy you describe for the Tories is the correct one but the problem is that every one of the people that would be in the running in cabinet voted for austerity.

    The argument for the next election is not be about Brexit. We would have either left or we would be still in limbo and peopel would be fed up the point would be that the Tories would be painted as the austerity party come late to the understanding of the destruction they have been causing

    If you give up the Magic Money Tree meme then Corbyn was right…..If you don’t you lose. Now I agree that Brexit will have some fall out but I suspect that if you were going into a spending spree not only would it look cynical (for 9 years tories have been transfering money away from the North and Midland to the southern shires) buit I am not sure that what the Tories would be doing is essentially writing the Labour party’s manifesto for them

    WE the Tories gave you austerity but to get your votes we are going to give you money that we did think you deserved……That is not a good calling card. I suspect Labour would relish that argument.

    As to backing Brexit. I suspect the idea of Brexit bring new horizons and the like has past hte argument that worked was it would not make any difference and even Brexiteers are now saying we need to mitigate against the fact we haves stuck a red hot poker up our collective behinds does not sound like a positive message.

    I suspect if there is anyone that could crry it off it would be BoJo though but I don’t think there is anyone that is a clean skin anti austerity Tory.

    Even the TIG group of Tories voted for austerity without much complaint as I said you are after the Tories doing what labour is proposing which fair play is what the country needs but why have the imitation if you can have the real thing

  44. P.S. if it jumps by 11.5 million in the wee small hours in one night, I’ll buy your argument. ;)

  45. @ADW
    @STATGEEK

    I am not sure what is the point in all this argument about the petition and the march

    If there was only 200 people marching then I get it that it is unimportant, but let say it was 400k well is that not enough to show depth of feeling

    Again if there was a petition and it was 100k in this time then again I suspect this becomes a meh. But at 50 times that I kind of think that is something to take note of

    You can say it is meaningless because only votes really count but then the same people then say votes are undemocratic so these people are in a lose lose according to Brexiteers. I personally think that it does point to the divisions in the country and I don’t think there is a solution one side will win and the other will lose this round and if my Iraq theory works out then after we leave no one will want to own up to do wanting it or else they will be blaming someone else

    Interetsingly more peopel supported Iraq than Brexit but 20 year on only ROBERTNEWARK on this site has said he supported the war (and he blames Blair for making him do it)

  46. sorbus

    “I wish the popcorn munchers would remember that some UK citizens can’t afford to be disiniterested spectators and find very little to be amused by in what’s happening.”

    Well said.

    “Popcorn” is very high up on my list of most detested cliche words, along with cake and cherries and far too many other trivial stuff.

    Anyway, no deal has just disappeared over the horizon.

    Sadly though, unless we can tag on referendum to any joint agreement, this means we might actually have to leave, which I find really, really sad.

  47. ADW @ 3.37 pm is simply wrong about cross-channel ferries.

  48. Garj,
    ” If Ireland and the EU really wanted to do everything in their power to avoid a border then they would accept that the backstop is preventing the WA from being passed and make changes to it, safe in the knowledge that they will still be in a position of strength when it comes to ensuring an invisible border in the trade negotiations. ”

    The only way an open border can be created is if trading conditions are the same either side of it. otherwise there will be smuggling, and if this is a conduit for the rest of the world into the EU, tariff free, it would become MASSIVE. There has to be a border somewhere.

    The backstop simply acknowledges this fact, and the Uk agrees a minimum harmonisation of conditions with the EU. If that is not implemented, there cannot be an open border, it is forbidden by WTO, by the interests of the EU and indeed of the UK, which would find its own customs system undermined in turn.

    There cannot be an open border unless the arrangements specified in the backstop are in place, and that is why it is there.

    If the Uk cannot pass the WA because ir refuses the backstop conditons, then the Uk is guaranteeing there will be a closed border. N. Ireland can only have an open border with the south if it has the same regime as the south. It can only have an open border with the rest of the Uk if it has the same regime as the rest of the UK.

  49. James E,
    ” if you believe the petition on its own, you would imagine that Essex is more pro-Remain than Northern Ireland, for example.”

    Or you might conclude that despite Essex being more leave overall, it nonetheless also has more deeply committed remainers than N. Ireland. Which isnt encouraging if you want a compromise solution.

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