There are three polls this weekend asking about voting intentions in the European Parliament election:

A YouGov poll conducted for Hope Not Hate has topline European election voting intentions of CON 13%(-4), LAB 22%(nc), LDEM 7%(-2), BREX 28%(+5), UKIP 5%(-1), GRN 10%(nc), ChUK 10%(+2). Fieldwork was between Tuesday and Friday, and changes are from YouGov’s previous European election poll the week before. It suggests the Brexit party continue to grow in support, largely at the expense of the Tories. Tables are here.

Opinium have topline European voting intentions of CON 14%(-3), LAB 28%(-1), LDEM 7%(-3), BREX 28%(+16), UKIP 3%(-10), GRN 6%(nc), ChUK 7%(+3). Fieldwork was Sunday to Tuesday, and changes are since the start of the month (notably, Opinium’s previous European poll was before the launch of the Brexit party, so repeats the massive transfer of support from UKIP to Brexit that we saw in YouGov’s previous poll conducted just after the Brexit party’s launch). Full tabs are here.

Finally Survation have topline figures of CON 16%, LAB 27%, LDEM 8%, BREX 27%, UKIP 7%, GRN 4%, ChUK 4%. Fieldwork was between the 17th and 25th April. Full tables are here.

All three polls have the Conservatives doing extremely badly, down in the teens. All three have the Brexit party performing strongly in the high twenties, seemingly taking over the vast majority of UKIP’s previous support (it would be unlikely that UKIP would retain any seats on the levels of support suggested here). There is more of a contrast in Labour support – YouGov have them in the low twenties, six points behind the Brexit party. Survation & Opinium have them doing better, neck-and-neck with the Brexit party for first place. Finally, Survation have Change UK on just 4%, Opinium have them on 7%, YouGov on 10%. Part of that difference will likely be down to timing – YouGov’s poll was the only one of the three polls conducted wholly after Change UK’s launch, which may well have given them at least a temporary boost.


1,992 Responses to “European election polling”

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  1. @Edge of Reason

    I can’t believe that Dianne Abbott isn’t in that Top Ten list of the most appearances on Question Time. Maybe it’s just a recurring nightmare of mine and I’m imagining it!

    More seriously, it’s disappointing to me, and others I have spoken to, that the programme has deteriorated to the degree that it has. Trying to look through any nostalgia mist, and the temptation to think that politicians and politics were more interesting in my day, the quality of discussion now, worsened by constantly interrupting chairs and heckling audience members, is both dispiriting and uninformative. The make up of the panel is quite often skewed politically too, with panellists ganging up on another panellist who may be departing from groupthink. This ganging up often involves the chair. The audiences seem more intolerant and abusive now too. It’s gone downhill as a programme.

    Why does this matter? This links to the recent discussion we’ve had about a biased media slanting the public discourse, and maligning the public’s perceptions of certain individual politicians, because programmes like QT are rare opportunities to see our politicians uncut and not through the partial lens of others. Ditto set piece TV and radio interviews.

    These opportunities are precious and we should do all we can to preserve both their scrupulous impartiality and their place in our public discourse. I’m a little sceptical, certainly in the modern world of a multiplicity of news sources and media, about the influence of our printed press now, but TV and Radio political discussion programmes, available to all, are the way to cut through the lenses of the Dacres, Murdochs, Barclays of this world.

    It’s probably the reason that these people tend to loathe the BBC. “Stop telling the truth when I’m trying to defame someone or something.” It’s frustrating for propagandists to have impartiality and fact based journalism butting in. We need to protect the islands of truth that remain.

  2. @DANNY

    So why did they allow the panel show question time to be broadcast, and stopped the broadcast of the political debate show ‘have I got news for you’? Is it more to do with QT taking politicians seriously, while HIGNFY takes the mickey? is there some suggestion that allowing a politician to make fun of the system is somehow unacceptable?

    :-) @OLDNAT beat you to that one!

  3. @HIRETON

    Perhaps the BBC with its charter requirements should try to ensure that there is at least one voice on each panel from outside England not representing the British nationalist parties ( politically that could encompass SNP, PC, Scottish Green Party, the Green Party, Alliance, SDLP)? 

    That would be 20% of their slots to feature parties getting about 5% of the vote – if they did that they’d be criticised for bias the other way.

    I agree with your point about going outside the Westminster bubble more tho – the more interesting and effective contributors tend to be those who try to address the issues directly rather than starting with the conclusion of their party soundbite and working back from there.

  4. @ Oldnat

    Pollsters aren’t allowed to provide details of who has voted- presumably they make some sort of allowance in their likelihood to vote weighting or at least give it a 9.9/10. I’d also assume postal votes could give a slanted impression of overall vote share.

    @ Danny was talking about how turnout seems to be exaggerated at the moment in polling, but knowing turnout is high or low for postal votes(therefore high or low turnout for leave) won’t tell us whether the same is going to be true for remain who are more likely to not have a postal vote.

  5. @EDGE OF REASON

    Most appearances on QT

    “1. Ken Clarke
    2. Shirley Williams
    3. Ming Campbell
    4. Harriet Harman
    5. Charles Kennedy
    6, Clare Short
    7. MIchael Heseltine
    8. Paddy Ashdown
    9. Roy Hattersley
    10. Simon Hughes”

    This looks seriously out of date.

  6. “I really don’t think he is worried about websites or manifestos.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0004vyd
    @colin May 11th, 2019 at 6:47 am

    I’m sure he isn’t too. But in our Internet-savvy age hoovering up the obvious domain names (on .COM too!!) is a pretty basic skill.

    What struck me about those two programmes were the comments right at the start. The UK has won a vote to leave; they will be wily and difficult to deal with so we better do our homework. They did.

    We, on the other hand, just knew we were so important they would just roll over…

    Their opinions of Davis and Raab shine out brightly all the way through. I though Barnier comes out rather well through the whole process.

    And I never knew Verhofstadt was an Anglophile!

  7. FWIW 17.4million Brits said B*llox to Brussels in the largest ever democratic vote in UK.

  8. DANNY
    “On the other hand, the economic consequences of no deal are agreed by most economists to be even worse.”

    At the risk of going over old ground, if you accept this, then what must follow as a mathematical certainty is what you adamantly denied a week or so ago, that there is a probability value where the expected loss from the certainty of a CU deal becomes less than the expected loss from the possibility of no deal.

    We can of course disagree over whether economic loss is the only factor (though it is usually remainers who give it primacy).

    But there must be a tipping point probability in pure numerical terms.

  9. Shevii / Danny / ON

    “Danny was talking about how turnout seems to be exaggerated at the moment in polling”

    I believe this is the normal pattern in the run up to elections: the reported numbers of people telling people pollsters that they are ‘certain to vote’ rises and often exceeds the actual turnout.

  10. @WES WHITE

    Yes quite possibly. Or it could be reflective of the longevity of most of those people, many of whom would have been on the show in the Robin Day era and are still politically active now.

    Either way it’s not the 21st century list that was being cited upthread – I’d be interested in seeing that one too.

  11. @CROSSBAT11

    Yeah I’d mostly agree with that. Whilst older clips are obviously very selective, it’s hard to imagine anything on the current show comparing to the days when Benn, Jenkins, Heseltine and so on went on and argued fundamental policy. The point @OLDNAT made again recently about the narrow differences within English political parties is probably as much of that as the weaker personalities these days.

    That said, I do find this series much more watchable than Dimbles was. Yes it’s more argumentative and combative and maybe that’s not always a good thing, but a chair who will interrupt a politician to point out that they’re really not answering the question is something that’s been sorely lacking IMO.

  12. @Danny – “I am of course talking in the aggregate, but I argue the MPs have stuck together and do stick together following a consensus view.”

    I know it’s a fruitless task trying to divert you from your mythical quasi religious belief that the Conservatives secretly want to be in the EU, but surely even you can see how incredibly daft your statement above is?

    Tory MPs having stuck together? Apart from splitting and losing a small number to another party, we have had 278 (I think?) Tory MPs voting FOR the Brexit deal at the last time of asking. So that’s the majority of the parliamentary party trying to leave the EU, which provides some factual evidence that is somewhat counter to your claim.

    Then we had 34 of them voting against the deal, in favour of no deal, which doesn’t help you argue that they actually want to remain, while also blowing apart your notion that they have stuck together.

    No one bothers to challenge you on this anymore, which might give you an idea that somehow people have ended up agreeing with your central thesis, but believe me – they haven’t. They’ve just given up arguing about such absurdities.

    The truth of the matter is quite the opposite of your view. The Tory party is fractured on the issue of Brexit. There is a minority of MPs and particularly members, who wish to remain within the EU. The majority wish to leave, and in the main, the struggle isn’t about how to appear to want to leave while secretly wanting to remain – it’s about how to leave without overly damaging the UK.

    Your thesis can be completely discounted by the application of a simple thought experiment. If Con MPs were presented with a choice between being in the EU or out of the EU, but where either of these choices could be simply delivered without adverse economic impact on the UK, how would they vote? The answer is obvious – the majority would vote to leave – as they have already done.

  13. Issues with Opinium Poll (commissioned by PV campaign group)

    1/ The bright sparks at PV HQ don’t seem to know NI has different political parties to GB

    2/ RM and others have already mentioned the “turnout” adjustment issues which mean folks need to treat the VI numbers with some caution (not saying they are “wrong” just apply caution). A consequence of the adjusted numbers is that it shrinks the overall poll size hence..

    3/ The poll is too small to make EP constituency x-break of much use (they could have applied MRP to the 9 English ones but didn’t – issues about using MRP for Wales and Scotland discussed by others previously) :(

    4/ The small size is possibly why they dropped the Remain-Leave split for CON and LAB? :(

    5/ Not sure why they dropped their usual “tracker” questions :(

    Hopefully 1-5 addressed if they release a “normal” set of poll results as well as the one paid for by PV.

    6/ The “campaign group” questions give fairly obvious results :-) :-)

    If May+Corbyn agree(d) a deal with CU it would be damaging for both of them personally and both of their parties (some of which has probably been “priced in” by voters already – unsure if any of that would reverse though if talks collapsed and/or either party made a major shift in policy – not expecting that before EPs anyway)

    The “more or less likely to vote for X” questions are always a bit dodgy but the only party to notably gain from a May+Corbyn CU deal would be BXP and due mainly to increased certainty of BXP VI with a small additional boost from current CON VI. No notable benefit to Arch-Remain parties (check the polling tabs not PV HQ PR!)

    Hardly a shocking discovery!

    Watch out for the very dodgy word optimisation on the final question. Agree/Disagree to a very vaguely worded “people” question (AW covered those two “flaws” in questioning more than once but obviously any “campaign group” will know that and hence deliberately use that approach)

  14. I’ve been waiting for something like this to come along for some while now – https://www.theguardian.com/education/2019/may/11/head-likens-criticism-of-private-schools-to-antisemitic-abuse

    Those poor parents paying £40K a year to educate their children privately are getting a bit uppity about the fact that they need to compete on a more equal basis with the oiks from the comprehensive schools, with the result that fewer of them are getting places.

    Everyone loves greater social mobility, until the privileged few suddenly realise that for more at the bottom to rise to the top, some of those at the top are going to find they can’t climb quite as high as they expected, because they aren’t good enough.

    This time, Anthony Wallersteiner, with his excellent educational credentials, has ably demonstrated that the most expensive schooling doesn’t necessarily mean the brightest achievers, and is suggesting that what is happening to private schools in the UK today is somehow akin to how Hitler handled the Jews in Nazi Germany.

    In a footnote to this post, Anthony Wallersteiner school featured in a 2016 investigation by the Daily Telegraph. According to Wiki, “….a Daily Telegraph investigator posing as a parent of a Russian pupil was told by the then school registrar that whilst pupils would always be expected to pass the entrance exam, it would help secure a place if a borderline child’s parents were able to donate “about £100,000 or something like that.””

    Says it all, really.

  15. @ ALEC (@ DANNY) – “They’ve just given up arguing about such absurdities.”

    Spot on! Even the Trevors collective (down to 1 for several months but happy with the label) don’t have that much time to waste ;)

    @ DANNY – I scroll past your replies to me. Perhaps you have asked a “new” question on something outside of

    “your mythical quasi religious belief that the Conservatives secretly want to be in the EU”

    If so then I’ve missed it due to scrolling on by

    I eventually also learnt to even avoid replying to “polling” related questions as even on those you somehow always manage to twist every reply to support:

    “your mythical quasi religious belief that the Conservatives secretly want to be in the EU”

    I like ALEC’s description. Previously I’ve stated it as DANNY’s #42, ie your answer to life the Universe and Everything being..

    “your mythical quasi religious belief that the Conservatives secretly want to be in the EU”

    Sorry for repeating that fantastic quote 3x but I’m very used to your repeats ;)

    However, since you seem convinced CON want to Remain in EU then I’m sure you’ll be voting CON on 23May ;)

  16. @Dunham

    “It does look as if the remain parties (including Labour) will win the Euro elections in terms of vote share, I estimate by 54% to 46% based on the latest 9 polls. I suspect that now reflects the shift in the UK’s mood to Remain.”

    Are Labour for Remain!? Not when I last checked.

    Rather invalidates your assumptions!

  17. @EoR

    “I simply suggest that when you represent one very small part of the country”

    Perhaps an incorrect choice of words, or the BBC weather has worked its way into your psyche, with its dastardly maps, but that very small part of the country is one third of the UK in size.

    So to sum up, Scotland’s vote is not important because it’s too wee. Oh dear. Have another go. :D

  18. EDGE OF REASON

    @” a chair who will interrupt a politician to point out that they’re really not answering the question is something that’s been sorely lacking IMO.”

    Yep-QT need look no further than this for how its done :-

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-politics-48230595/us-conservative-pundit-ben-shapiro-terminates-interview-with-andrew-neil

  19. EP seat prediction model finished (kids adding the bells and whistles for me to get the ranges (probabilities) around central numbers)

    Due to the nature of D’Hondt the ranges of outcomes are highly dependent on the final seat(s) but you can also fairly confidently predict “safe seats”

    After the disaster prediction of shouting my mouth of early in GE’17 then note all the caveats about campaigns can lead to changes in polling, polling[1] versus actual “errors”, etc

    However, central prediction (range)

    CON 11 (8-14)
    LAB 21 (17-27)
    LDEM 6 (3-9)
    SNP 3 (3-4)
    PC 0 (0-1)*
    Green 2 (0-7)
    BXP 26 (21-31)
    ChUK 1 (0-6)

    Notes:

    1/ LDEM, Green and ChUK are usually fishing for the same final seat(s) hence “Arch-Remain” total is 9 (3-13) not including NATS. PC is very marginal 0-1. SNP probably a 3 (70%ish). Add the NATS and “Arch-Remain” total is 13 (6-18)

    2/ If one of the 3 Arch-Remain GB wide parties becomes clear favourite then outcome more likely to be near 13 (17 with NATS), but if the vote is highly split then closer to 3 (6 with NATS)

    3/ I’m not expecting CON or LAB to do anything other than kick the can on talks. Obviously a big “event” on talks or policy change and “all bets are off”

    4/ Above does not factor in any turnout “boost” for the “protest” parties (I’d be inclined to think we do see a bit of that which nudges CON and LAB nearer low end and all others up)

    5/ You get rounding issues using probabilities so yes, aware some of above doesn’t perfectly add up (eg 13 is 12.7 but you can’t get fractional seats so the program will sometimes make inconsistent summations)

    The “collective” are putting our money where our mouth is on the above. Betfair markets are too illiquid for now so you better off using conventional liquidity providers (ie bookies). Many of the bid-offer spreads on Betfair are currently being made by the “collective” if you did want to bet on there – please do ;)

    TBH No stonking obvious bets anyway, certainly no Canterbury or CON minority govt type mispricings (D’Hondt and EPs bit boring in that regard)

    You can also bet on %s (usually 5% buckets such as BXP 25-29.99%) and obviously the seat numbers are derived from % numbers.

    NB As usual only bet what prepared to lose, etc, etc. When the fun stops – stop. Not recommending anyone does bet and not pushing any “gnome” stuff either. IMHO if you’ve spent time on something you wanna make some money from it – but thats the RoC in me perhaps ;)

    [1] For now just using ComRes (2x weight), YG with a small adjust and topline Opinium (their constituency splits are useless – see earlier post)

  20. The trevors,
    “FWIW 17.4million Brits said B*llox to Brussels in the largest ever democratic vote in UK.”

    That depends how you look at it. In 1975 only 30,000 fewer people voted to remain in the EU, on a considerably smaller total number of voters. a much bigger proportion voted to remain on that occasion.

    Peterw,
    ” if you accept this, then what must follow as a mathematical certainty is what you adamantly denied a week or so ago, that there is a probability value where the expected loss from the certainty of a CU deal becomes less than the expected loss from the possibility of no deal. ”

    I would put it to you that whichever version happened, voters would experience a cumulative loss, and once the total reached a tipping point, then the clamour to rejoin would become irresistable. So it might be a milder longer time out or a harder shorter one.

    Alec,
    “I know it’s a fruitless task trying to divert you from your mythical quasi religious belief that the Conservatives secretly want to be in the EU, but surely even you can see how incredibly daft your statement above is? ”

    Not at all. Frankly I expect politicians to state their position is something different to what it really is. That is virtually the guaranteed consequence of having a unified party policy which everyone supports. Everyone supports in public, but no one wholeheartedly agrees with.

    “we have had 278 (I think?) Tory MPs voting FOR the Brexit deal at the last time of asking. So that’s the majority of the parliamentary party trying to leave the EU, which provides some factual evidence that is somewhat counter to your claim. ”

    Not really. Enough voted against to ensure it didnt pass. Why would they want more than sufficient to expose themselves?

    “No one bothers to challenge you on this anymore, which might give you an idea that somehow people have ended up agreeing with your central thesis, but believe me – they haven’t.”

    Actually more people seem to be agreeing with at least aspects of what I have been arguing. But its fine to disagree. So far events have all fallen in line with my thesis.

    “If Con MPs were presented with a choice between being in the EU or out of the EU, but where either of these choices could be simply delivered without adverse economic impact on the UK, how would they vote? The answer is obvious – the majority would vote to leave”

    Why would they do that? when they were in fact last given such a free choice, most were remainers. (you didnt mention, without adverse effect to themselves or party as well as to the nation, but I presumed you meant that too)

  21. @ JIB / DUNHAM – FWIW Queen Gina thinks LAB are Leave, however she might be just a tad biased ;)

    “The Labour Party has been treated as a pro-Brexit party”

    https://www.remainunited.org/be-tactical/

    Owen Jones sees it differently (he’s a tad biased as well of course)

    He is factually correct in the points he makes but goes a little OTT in places (very funny):

    “The chasm that exists between the ultra-remainers and political reality is so vast, it nearly contains enough room for their arrogance and entitlement.” :-) :-)

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/may/01/remainers-own-goal-brexit-nigel-farage-brexit-party-second-referendum-labour

    Between the two extremes of bias you have that wonderful thing called LAB’s Brexit policy, aka:

    “Constructive Ambiguity”

    So ironically Queen Gina might help LAB outside of London (and Scotland) and Owen might help LAB in Remainia (add Bristol, Brighton and a few other places to London and Scotland)

    Folks will be able to spin it anyway they like. %s, seats, turnouts, etc. Pretty certain they’ll be one “result” that every partisan or Brexit bias person will be able to use (with exception of CON – barring a miracle, they are scr3w3d but will probably just keep kicking the can anyway)

  22. The trevors,
    “FWIW 17.4million Brits said B*llox to Brussels in the largest ever democratic vote in UK.”

    Not true by any measure, not just Danny’s relative one.

    Most people voted in the 1997 general election. The total electorate was biggest in the 2017 general election. I can’t think of another criterion by which sobering can be the largest vote ever.

  23. Oops faulty memory. Most votes cast 1992, 33,614,074

  24. If you are really bothered by finding out the panellists (and the number of their appearances … Although life is quite sgort…

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Question_Time_episodes

  25. EoR:

    This “very small part” of the UK has 88% of the land area of England.

    It`s not just the BBC weather maps that deliberately set out to reduce the apparent size of Scotland. The BBC are now enforcing on the forecasters doing the radio bulletins a sharp reduction in time, so perforce they can only manage one sentence on Scotland in a 60-second slot.

  26. Two election communications from the LibDems have arrived. They are nicely written making good points, and give space to a Green agenda.

    But picking up the evening paper, I find a big picture of an Aberdeen LibDem councillor complaining bitterly that the Lab/Con council have reduced the frequency of grass cutting. The grass sward in this park doesn`t even reach to the top of his shoes.

    I have been checking the local papers for any hostile letters about Ruth Davidson telling Boris Johnson to stay away from the SCON conference last weekend. But none have been printed, instead a columnist is full of praise.

    Neither has anyone put in support for Jeremy Corbyn.

    Meantime our letters` page is filled by complaints that the council is going to charge for uplifting garden waste. And in the general anti-Green climate here, sadly no-one dares say that gardeners should be composting this waste.

  27. @ PETERW – ??

    John Major won in 1992 with 14,093,007 votes

    Thats over 3.3million less than Leave 2016

    Slightly “creative” wording on my part perhaps. It’s a play on the “B*lllox 2 Brexit” from the Best for Brussels lot.

    If B4B want to go with B2B and take the debate into the gutter then I’ll think they’ll find Farage is well established in gutter politics and will be greatly appreciate the boost that the pro-Brussels LDEM will give to his turnout.

    You want to fight Farage on populism and “emotion”? Be my guest.

    PS LDEM surely wouldn’t be daft enough to align themselves so closely with Brussels that they get someone like Guy Verhofstadt to help them campaign though?

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/10/guy-verhofstadt-never-repeat-brexit-again-mep-warns

    A quick reminder of what Macron said about:

    “Our first freedom is democratic freedom: the freedom to choose our leaders as foreign powers seek to influence our votes at every election”

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/mar/04/europe-brexit-uk

    Plenty of what the President for the Rich says I’d disagree with but our first freedom is democracy – something we’ve fought for (I’m sure you can follow where that leads to…)

    I’m sure Verhofstadt was popular preaching to the already converted in London but it’s adding to the sense of “betrayal” and “anger” outside of Remainia – handing Farage easy material to use in the fight for UK democracy to ensure the democratic referendum vote to Leave is honoured by our elected representatives.

    Once the EPs are over then if our MPs in Westminster don’t let us Leave then Farage will be looking to get our current crop of surrender monkey MPs to Leave Westminster

    He’s just getting started…

  28. @ EOR – Perhaps the Scots are suggesting we should have

    One acre, one vote?

    SNP want to “democratise” land ownership so a small step to

    All acres = one vote = USSR* ;)

    * Utopian Scottish Socialist Republic

  29. Trevor

    Slightly creative? Makes Boris’s bus look straightforward in its use of language.

    Largest vote for a single proposition ever, no probs.

    Largest democratic exercise? Nonsense on either count that could have any meaning.

    And relevant not pedantry because leavers use the latter soundbite to imply it trumps mere general elections. And the data say it don’t.

  30. If there is a problem with the QT panel it isn’t political or regional bias, it’s GOTT!

    Good On The Telly!

    People are chosen for their ability to add to a “Lively Debate!” So Colour matters more than Character, Controversy more than Caution, Polemic more than Policy.

    QT is a format where the thoughtful and thought provoking get marginalised by the shrill and contentious!

    You might as well have it as CQT by adding Celebrity on the front because people are chosen, as much if not more because of their profile than their ability!

    This for me is little different from a point I Raised about the Scottish Referendum coverage, that the “No” side had an unfair advantage on the TV because they had more “Big Beasts!” Well known high profile politicians covered by a News media centred largely around the Westminster lobby where you get your information from those you daily rub shoulders with.

    The BBC doesn’t think it’s biased because it and it’s journalists accurately reflect the political world they live and work in……. it’s just not the same world as the rest of us!

    Peter.

  31. The EP Elections have some interesting scenarios for the remain coalition. Will Labour pro remain/ pV switch to Lib Dem /CHUK/ Green on mass probably aided by a little dissatisfaction with JC in General, and who will pick these up.

    Green – As Much pro remain/ PV as Lib Dem/ CHUK. However a strong Green performance would be seen more as a response to Green Issues / Climate change than for PV

    Lib Dem – Some Lab will distrust them for the Coalition.

    CHUK – Seen by Labour as Soft Tory and not keen on those who left Labour. So unlikely to support them in a one off. Probably more likely to hoover up Tory Remain

    Of course many Labour PV suporters will still be loyal and see Lab as remain/ PV and want to outpoll BP in public vote

  32. Regarding the representation on TV. A factor that is less scrutinized is the panellists and political columnists who dont belong to any party officially. These end to provide a platform to political extremes rather than more centrist opinion. Examples are newspaper reviews/ Jeremy Vine Show etc. Having more extreme views is seen as good for viewing figures.

  33. Matt 126

    Yes, it’s genuinely interesting to see whether Labour’s strong pro-Remain vote will split off, and where it will go. I’d guess there will be quite big regional differences. Round us, the Lib Dems seem much the best organised (There is no presence on the streets or leaflets for ChUK, and this is Sarah Wollaston’s home ground). Labour seems to have given up on doorsteps. (they used to be around a lot)

    It’s great that the election should actually your question, though its relevance for Westminster vi is limited.

  34. Here’s a suggestion to widen participants on QT.

    1) Regardless of where it is the local MP must be on the panel!

    2) It doesn’t visit the same constituency twice until it’s done all 650!

    Another option;

    Have themed QT’s with say the defence minister and the other Parties shadow spokes people so that an area of policy gets covered in detail, ideally six or seven shows in the run up to the election covering all the major Ministries!

    Peter.

  35. Here’s a suggestion to widen participants on QT.

    1) Regardless of where it is the local MP must be on the panel!

    2) It doesn’t visit the same constituency twice until it’s done all 650!

    Another option;

    Have themed QT’s with say the defence minister and the other Parties shadow spokes people so that an area of policy gets covered in detail, ideally six or seven shows in the run up to the election covering all the major Ministries!

    Peter.

  36. Double Post… got a new phone so not quite used to it yet!

  37. Another factor in the Elections will be how much work the LIb Dems put in on the ground. Outside their stronger areas in London and the South West how much will they leaflet. The same goes for CHUK for that matter.

    It does make difference to some if a party leaflets their home. In as much as if you don’t campaign here why should I Vote for you against the actual contents of the flyer.

  38. @eor

    The BBCs charter requires it:

    “To reflect, represent and serve the diverse communities of all of the United Kingdom’s nations and regions and, in doing so, support the creative economy across the United Kingdom: the BBC should reflect the diversity of the United
    Kingdom both in its output and services.”

    So absolutely no reason why it could not legitimately give more space to voices which are not British nationalist or English. Indeed, it is failing in its duty not doing so.

  39. Hiteton,

    “diverse communities of all of the United Kingdom’s nations and regions”

    You mean out with the M25…..But there be Dragons!

    Peter.

  40. @Danny – “Not really. Enough voted against to ensure it didnt pass. Why would they want more than sufficient to expose themselves?……”

    This is where your logic takes a bizarre twist, but I’m not going to let you have this both ways.

    Lets just for the sake of argument agree for a moment that every single one of the 278 that voted to leave the EU secretly wants to remain, but voted to leave because they knew that the vote would fail and they would be safe.

    In effect, you are claiming these 278 as secret remainers to preserve your theory, but what about the 34? They represent around 15% of MPs, and voted against the deal, hoping for a no deal. But, in your theory, you also claim these as agents of remain, ergo, the party is united behind your secret remainer theory.

    That’s illogical, and total tosh.

    “Actually more people seem to be agreeing with at least aspects of what I have been arguing. But its fine to disagree. So far events have all fallen in line with my thesis.”

    ‘At least aspects’ of a theory doesn’t mean they agree with you, and no, events have not in any way fitted your theory.

    All good conspiracy theories have at their heart a germ of truth, which then gets buried under a mound of invention. That is what you have done here.

    Firstly, there is no united Conservative view. They are fractured and disabled on Brexit. Everyone knows this, and events have proved this beyond any reasonable doubt. There are hard core leavers (do you think @TOH is a secret remainers? – he is a Tory) and there are hard core remainers.

    Then there are various shades inbetween, leaning both ways. Within all of these groups, there is, of course, political positioning – saying ne thing while thinking another. This is one of those ‘aspects’ where most people can agree with you, but it isn’t what your theory says. You are saying that the Tory party is united behind remaining, which is patently untrue.

    In terms of what events have proven about Brexit, your theory remains outside this category. It’s been a calamatous cock-up, with an out of depth PM and government making a string of errors and false steps, unable to secure their path to Brexit due to a fumbling incompetence.

    There is no great plot here. Just a very predictable (and yes – it was predicted by many of us) descent into reality from a misguided starting position from a very poor government who weren’t expecting to be in this position and who have learned fast that their 40 year obsession with criticising the EU doesn’t have the easy end point that many of them dreamed of.

    This is not as conspiracy – merely a reminder that sensible people temper over-confidence with a realistic analysis of reality. Indeed, thinking that many people are agreeing with you on this may well be a sign that you need to temper your own confidence in the plot theory.

  41. PETERW
    The trevors,
    “FWIW 17.4million Brits said B*llox to Brussels in the largest ever democratic vote in UK.”

    Not true by any measure, not just Danny’s relative one.

    Most people voted in the 1997 general election. The total electorate was biggest in the 2017 general election. I can’t think of another criterion by which sobering can be the largest vote ever.

    Total votes cast 1997 Gen Election across whole UK = 29, 929,337
    Total votes cast 2016 Referendum across whole UK = 33, 351,983
    Totkl votes cast 2017 Gen election across whole UK = 32,169,920
    (no figure includes spoilt ballots)

    Turn out for the Referendum was higher as well as votes cast – 71.4% to 72.2% to 68.8%.

    It was John Major’s stunning victory in 1992 you are possibly thinking of, with a turn out of 77.7% and the tories taking more votes than any party ever.

  42. @STATGEEK (and @DAVWEL)

    Perhaps an incorrect choice of words, or the BBC weather has worked its way into your psyche, with its dastardly maps, but that very small part of the country is one third of the UK in size.

    So to sum up, Scotland’s vote is not important because it’s too wee. Oh dear. Have another go. :D

    Heh. Whilst I’m sure you knew exactly what I meant, it was of course a most foolish choice of words with so many auld pernicketies around! :-)

  43. @ PETERW – ?!?!?

    You just replied with:

    “Largest vote for a single proposition ever, no probs.
    Largest democratic exercise? Nonsense”

    What I actually wrote was:

    “FWIW 17.4million Brits said “B*llox to Brussels” in the largest ever democratic vote in UK

    May 11th, 2019 at 11:07 am

    No mention of exercise – more folks vote by post these days though, although pretty sure that is not what you meant – that would be me being pedantic ;)

    17.4million was the largest ever democratic vote in the UK (add on “for a single proposition” if you want a longer sentence)

    I shortened the sentence but 17.4million is still the largest ever number.

    A referendum should not “trump mere general elections” at least not in a democracy – both are equal. We would expect the results of both to be implemented.

    It was a 50%+1 referendum (as approved by a huge majority of MPs) so to say “B*llox” to a democratic vote is well… undemocratic

    I would fully expect the results of a GE and a referendum to be respected – one does not trump the other. To renege on any democratic vote is undemocratic – simples.

    Don’t pull the “advisory” card as Queen Gina saw to that and 494 MPs (huge majority) acted on the “advice” and gave May (as PM) the authority to trigger A50 – which she did on 29Mar’17. All fully complaint with Supreme Court, etc, etc.

    Also “mere”?!? Really? I know our current batch of MPs are useless but that is the great thing with democracy – if OUR elected representatives don’t sort this mess out then we’ll get the chance to vote them out in the next GE (2022 or IMHO sooner than that).

    If you want all the dates for all the parliament votes on agreeing to hold a referendum and agreeing to implement it, etc then let me know.

    Democracy (via upholding democratic votes) is important to some people and it’s certainly “relevant not pedantry” when folks start saying “B*llox” to democracy.

    Ignoring democratic votes leads to autocracy and fascism – something LDEM voters might be OK with perhaps?

    NB My original post was somewhat in jest. I missed the ;) on the end (too short a sentence perhaps) but frankly I’m stunned how casually folks dismiss the democratic vote to Leave the EU (ie to Brexit).

  44. DAVWEL

    @”This “very small part” of the UK has 88% of the land area of England.”

    Does it?

    Scotland 80,077 sq km
    England 130,395 sq km
    UK 242,495 sq km.

    So Scotland is 61% X England -or 38% of England + Scotland-or 33% of UK

  45. The Trevors,
    “EP seat prediction model finished (kids adding the bells and whistles for me to get the ranges (probabilities) around central numbers)”

    Do you mean your interns hoping to replace the lost trevor staffers?

    “Once the EPs are over then if our MPs in Westminster don’t let us Leave then Farage will be looking to get our current crop of surrender monkey MPs to Leave Westminster
    He’s just getting started…”

    Interesting play on R4 the other day. Set in a post brexit UK torn by civil war.

    Alec,
    “In effect, you are claiming these 278 as secret remainers to preserve your theory, but what about the 34? They represent around 15% of MPs, and voted against the deal, hoping for a no deal.”

    Its much simpler than that. Obviously some are remainers and some leavers by inclination, with more remainers than leavers because that was their declared position before all this became controversial. I simply assume they havnt changed their minds.

    However all are committed to the party and the concept that the party either succeeds as a whole or it fails. What is the point of having FPP elections and then splintering your party? No sense at all. if you wanted to go the small party route, then you bring in proportional representation.

    So internally the party makes a decision. This is what ALWAYS happens. It isnt new, it isnt controversial. The decision it makes isnt really difficult, it is just to go along with the result and test if it can be achieved, If not, find the best way out.

    And then if it comes to having to stop brexit, just tip the wink to enough MPs who are declared remainers, or declared very hard brexit (as appropriate) to oppose the official government bill.

    It isnt complex. It isnt difficult. It just requires the party behaves as a cohesive and united party. They are quite good at that. Just look at the stitch up achieved to elect May!

    I simply contend the party is more interested in survival than either remain or leave, although survival at the next election always requires success with policy now. Sure, not leaving is a clear failure, but this has to be contrasted with delivering a brexit which fails horribly. The best outcome is probably to find an excuse why Brexit doesnt happen. So parliament opposes. EU is intransigent, the russians have stolen all the unicons.

  46. @HIRETON

    The BBCs charter requires it:

    “To reflect, represent and serve the diverse communities of all of the United Kingdom’s nations and regions and, in doing so, support the creative economy across the United Kingdom: the BBC should reflect the diversity of the United
    Kingdom both in its output and services.”

    So absolutely no reason why it could not legitimately give more space to voices which are not British nationalist or English.

    I didn’t say it would be illegitimate to give more space – merely that they would be criticised for deliberately over-representing any particular group, especially given that most of the parties you listed are varyingly LoC.

    Indeed, it is failing in its duty not doing so

    In the context of QT (which was where this started), the approach is to go around the UK and have politicians from the regionally prominent parties on. It doesn’t seem outrageous that most of the shows are therefore from regions of England and featuring politicians from English parties.

    Tho I did like @PETER CAIRNS’ suggestion of automatically inviting the local MP, rather than just letting the parties send their telegenic squabblers.

  47. Alec,
    “Firstly, there is no united Conservative view. They are fractured and disabled on Brexit. Everyone knows this, and events have proved this beyond any reasonable doubt.”

    Who says there is no united conservative view? There is. Obviously there is. Has the party shatered? Absolutely not.

    After three years of this, where obviously the party is not delivering, where ken clarke is merrily agreeing with Jacob Rees Mogg, and you say they are disunited??? JRM said he would follow the PM even if she did handstands in the commons. I am sure he told the truth. He accepts the discipline of the party even where he disagrees the path.

    ” an out of depth PM and government making a string of errors and false steps, unable to secure their path to Brexit due to a fumbling incompetence. ”

    Or they were all careful and successful steps, each making the case for remain stronger. You agree this is what has been achieved, yet you refuse to credit it as political success.

  48. @ MATT126 – It’s a catch22 for LAB-Arch Remain[1]

    You vote for ABL Remain party = Farage will win highest % and most seats (we’ll never hear the end of that)

    You vote for LAB (thinking they are a Remain party) and Arch-Remain parties will do badly = Arch-Leave party (Farage) will beat sum of all Arch-Remain parties (by seats for sure but possibly also %, even adding in the NATS), we’ll never hear the end of that either.

    Perhaps follow DANNY’s advice and vote for CON – he keeps telling us CON are a Remain party so I’m sure he’s voting for them ;)

    [1] I’ve shown plenty of polling evidence to suggest LAB don’t have as many Arch-Remain as Arch-Remainers hope/think. If you voted Corbyn in 2017 he told you Brexit was settled and he’d honour the result so unless it was a tactical ABC vote then LAB’17 signed up to LAB’s non-Brexit policies (anti-austerity, etc) – simples.

    Sure they might vote Remain in a do-over (if that ever happens), they probably voted Remain in 2016, but domestic non-Brexit policies are likely to be a bigger reason they’re sticking with LAB and if you want LAB to win next GE your not going to want to put the wind behind the sails of LDEM, ChUK or even Greens or NATS.

    Tactically LAB (and NAT) VI should actually want Farage to win the EPs anyway and also to see May keep kicking the can. CON seem to be in a death spiral – why step in and save May or her party?

    If your up for extreme nose pinching then LAB-Remain should vote BXP (no one will ever know which box you tick in the ballot booth – I reckon plenty of CON and LAB MPs will be ticking the BXP box!)

  49. The trevors,
    “17.4million was the largest ever democratic vote in the UK (add on “for a single proposition” if you want a longer sentence)”

    But it was only 30,000 votes more than remain achieved in 1975. Nothing stunning about it, thats 3/1740 or 0.2% more than the record set by remain. Tiny increase.

    Considering the electorate has grown by millions since then, it is a very unimpressive result, and the reason we are in this fix is because there was never a sufficient majority to justfy leaving the EU.

  50. ADW
    Yes I corrected 1997 to 1992 one minute after I made the mistake and three hours before you did. But thanks anyway.

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