Today’s Sunday papers have the first polls conducted since the local elections, from Opinium and ComRes.

Opinium for the Observer have Westminster voting intentions of CON 22%(-4), LAB 28%(-5), LDEM 11%(+5), BREX 21%(+4), GRN 6%(+2), ChUK 4%(nc), UKIP 4%(nc). Fieldwork was between Wednesday and Friday, and changes are from late April. Full tables are here.

ComRes for BrexitExpress have voting intentions of CON 19%(-4), LAB 27%(-6), LDEM 14%(+7), BREX 20%(+6), GRN 5%(+2), ChUK 7%(-2), UKIP 3%(-2). Fieldwork appears to be all on Thursday, and changes are since mid-April.

Both polls have Labour and the Conservatives rapidly shedding support, with support growing for the Liberal Democrats and the Brexit party. I suspect we are seeing a combination of factors at work here, most obviously there is the continuing collapse in Conservative support over Brexit, a trend we’ve been seeing since the end of March, with support moving to parties with a clearer pro-Brexit policy. Originally that favoured UKIP too, now it is almost wholly going to the Brexit party.

Secondly there is the impact of the local elections and the Liberal Democrat successes there. For several years the Lib Dems seemed moribund and struggled to be noticed. The coverage of their gains at the local elections seems to have given them a solid boost in support, more so than the other anti-Brexit parties – for now at least, they seem to be very much alive & well again.

Third is the impact of the European elections. People are obviously more likely to vote for smaller parties in the European elections and in current circumstances obviously appear more willing to lend their vote to a different party in protest over Brexit. To some degree this will be influencing other voting intention figures as well, so I would treat Westminster voting intention figures with some scepticism in the run up to the European elections (and probably in the immediate aftermath as well, when those parties who do well will likely recieve a further boost in support).

In short, these are startling results – but we have seen startling results before (look at the polls at the height of SDP support, or just after the expenses scandal broke, or during Cleggmania). These are indeed very unusual results – the combined level of Con-Lab support in these polls are some of the very lowest we’ve seen, the Conservative share in the ComRes poll almost their lowest ever (I can find only a single Gallup poll with a lower figure, from back in 1995). What we cannot tell at the moment is whether this portends a serious readjustment of the parties, or whether things will return to more familar patterns once the European elections have passed, the Conservatives have a new leader and (assuming it ever happens) Brexit is in some way settled.

Both polls also had voting intention figures for the European Parliament elections

Opinium Euro VI – CON 11%, LAB 21%, LDEM 12%, BREX 34%, GRN 8%, ChUK 3%, UKIP 4%
ComRes Euro VI – CON 13%, LAB 25%, LDEM 14%, BREX 27%, GRN 8%, ChUK 6%, UKIP 3%

Both have the Brexit party ahead, though they are doing considerably better with Opinium than with ComRes. In both cases the Liberal Democrats have recieved a post-local election boost, putting them above the Conservatives in European voting intentions.


760 Responses to “New Opinium and ComRes polls”

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  1. ALEC

    @” the elderly want businesses and workers to pay for their elderly care, while business wants lower taxes and most probably the elderly to cough up a tiny fraction of their unearned inflated property asset wealth to cover this cost.”

    Well I asked BFR what HE meant.

    But anyway -your explanation is just rhetoric as far as I am concerned. I don’t accept those all encompassing characterisations of people & organisations & what they all “want”. Its all far too simplistic for me.

    But I understand the political tendency from which your portrayal of your portrayal of “business” & the “elderly” comes.

  2. Alec,
    ” No one inside the Con party seems to have remotely understood that the issue with Brexit isn’t may, but is within the nature of Brexit itself. ”

    Wheras I have argued for some time that con MPs do see this very well and so have been trying to find the least bad way to escape.

  3. New Survation but figures several days old.

    BREX: 30% (+3)
    LAB: 24% (-3)
    CON: 12% (-4)
    LDEM: 11% (+3)
    GRN: 6% (+2)
    CHUK: 4% (-)
    UKIP: 4% (-3)

    via @Survation, 08 – 09 Ma

  4. DANNY

    Thanks for the heads-up.

    For those who don’t believe, they might want to visit the BBC’s N Smith twitter: https://twitter.com/BBCNormanS/status/1128539616947187714

  5. Shoud have added that the BBC Politics web page with the news is approaching 2000 comments already – perhaps more by now.

  6. DANNY

    The Brexiteers believe that BINO is pointless. The Remainers in the party believe that leaving the EU is economically harmful and that, if there must be Brexit, it should be BINO. There is no way to reconcile those positions.

    After May, my guess is that a Brexiteer will become PM. That in itself may be enough to attract Leavers back to the party for which they once voted. There is a chance that the Tories could win a GE on a platform that includes a Canada style deal. If a GE was won with a sufficient majority to eliminate a need for an arrangement with the DUP, the Brexit withdrawal deal might be changed to include special status for NI alone.

    All of this may be nonsense, of course.

  7. Trevors

    Are you Baldrick(s) in disguise?

  8. Sam,
    Actually I think the Tories would only stand a chance of winning a GE on a no-deal platform. Otherwise the Faragists will stand and split the Brexit vote. If the Tories go for

    I think Revoke might turn into a Pyrrhic victory for Remainers. Once you set the precedent that Brexit can be decided entirely by Parliament, our future is subject to the arbitrary vagaries of FPTP. The only safe way to stop Brexit is another referendum.

  9. @BARBAZENZERO
    @DANNY
    ‘Thanks for the heads-up.
    For those who don’t believe, they might want to visit the BBC’s N Smith twitter: https://twitter.com/BBCNormanS/status/1128539616947187714

    The tweet says –
    No 10 say if Mrs May’s deal is defeated – UK set for No Deal or Revoke as EU will not grant a further extension after Oct 31.

    I have a strong sense of deja vu, I may be mis-remembering but I can remember a similar form of words used the last time they tried to get May’s deal through. Vote for the deal or we will revoke or go for a no deal Brexit.
    As to the EU not agreeing a further extension. that has also been a well trodden path

  10. Political leaflets here are akin to a bad bus service. Waiting for one, and five arrive at once. Con, Lab, SNP, Green, UKIP

    Let’s see what they’re all saying…SCon first.

    Mentions of Referendum(s)/Indyref2/Independence/Sturgeon/SNP: 31
    Of the headlines / paragraphs / sections (21):
    Indyref related: 14 (67%)
    Respect EU ref / secure Brexit result: 5 (24%)
    Profiles of candidates: 2 (10%)
    Nothing else mentioned. Two photos of Ruth, and one each of the candidates. No mention of Theresa May. Ruth is morphing into a Scottish Arlene Foster.

    SLabour have gone with a large pic of Corbyn, and talks of Tory chaos. Inside we have stop the no deal Brexit, invest in Scotland’s economy, public services and a mention of helping with austerity (remind me who was in charge in 2008). It’s quite low-key, and far less shouty than Ruth’s leaflet, and of SLab leaflets of the past. I expect older Labour voters to be tempted.

    The SNP have a single piece of card, with pic of Nicola and “Scotland’s for Europe”. The reverse side elaborates on that, and includes working with others, people’s vote, choice of Indy European nation, revoke article 50. Basically it’s 75% Brexit, 25% Indyref.

    Greens have gone with “Choose hope over hate” and have a pic of Patrick Harvie and Maggie Chapman. Similar to SNP, but thin paper. Reverse side has “Stop Brexit”, “Tackle the Climate Crisis”, and “Hope over hate”, with a worrying LibDem-esc chart of how the Greens were 2% short of beating UKIP in 2014. Haven’t looked at if the chart is accurate or not.

    UKIP’s one has a pic of some guy I’ve never seen before, standing in front of a crowd with a union jack on one side and a saltire on the other (not divisive at all :D ). “Betrayed” “Brexit” etc.

    One interesting thing is that the UKIP one was personally addressed, in the same way the Brexit Party one was. What’s more they are printed by the same printer. Presumably, the Brexit Party took UKIP’s data with them?

    Both had a strange naming system, e.g. John J (Z) Doe

    What’s with the (Z) aspect?

  11. It’s like buses at the moment. No polls for ages then loads all come at the same time!

    Anyway, Survation tabs are up. Excel file link from:

    https://www.survation.com/archive/2019-2/

    has the constituency and a host of other x-breaks but vey small sample sizes (and sadly no MRP) so can’t really use them. Also covers NI bit tiny sample size so not much use either.

    the huge number of x-breaks allow folks to see where votes have come from (ie the “flow”), but sadly they don’t split out the two “broad churches” by Brexit view.

    Q4 shows the reason for the “protest vote” divergence between EP and GE VI and does suggest CON and LAB will not hit 0% in 8days time (I know folks were joking, but is interesting to try to estimate where a “floor” for CON and LAB might exist, 10%ish and 17%ish are my guesstimates based on various polling info)

    Also see Q5 for the votes “on loan” issue (just for BXP and questions fairly ambiguous about “stickiness” of the vote – see early post)

    No “on loan” question for LDEM EP VI but that phenomenon is fairly small (unless folks pick up on LAB possibly abstaining to let May’s deal pass)

  12. I`m just back from plant recording, so apologies for not answering any messages directed to me since last night.

    Anyway, as well as being frustrated by road closures around the AWPR for remedial works/finishing jobs on the minor and mostly passing-place roads, I was annoyed to find still no postal votes have arrived.

    So I rang up Aberdeenshire Council, and have found that they have just sent off the second batch of voting papers to the post – they should arrive on Friday, the man said.

    It seems to me that this is deliberate prevention of voting by the Tory council. I didn`t ask if there was going to be a third batch of posting, or whether the second batch was as big as the first batch, sent out last week (according to Hireton)..

  13. @neilj

    Yep, and thanks for posting the whole quote. Obviously if May’s deal is rejected then the options essentially resolve to No Deal or Revoke … but there’s no hint in that quote of which May would pick – or indeed if it will still be May who is doing the picking at that point.

    Whether this is the best strategy for May, I’m uncertain. So long as she leaves both No Deal and Revoke on the table, then basically everyone has an option they prefer to her deal, so it doesn’t get through. If she takes Revoke off the table to force a decision between her deal and No Deal, Parliament has already shown it has the numbers and means to just overrule her. If she takes No Deal off the table, her deal still doesn’t have the votes without the DUP, but Revoke would leave the Conservatives on close to their current vote share for the foreseeable future, and the opposition will quite happily assist with that. None of them are good options.

    @Trevor

    I’m less convinced of the values of MRPs for the EU elections – the Comres MRP a week or so ago didn’t give massively different values to the subsamples anyway, and if you’re not going to trust it for Scotland or Wales (and I wouldn’t either), why bother with it for somewhere like London or SE where the subsample is bigger than the Scottish/Welsh one anyway.

    The EU constituencies are large enough that subsample data should be sufficient – given a large enough main sample, anyway: the MRP seems a more valuable approach for general elections where getting a decent per-constituency sample is impractical and FPTP means that very local variations in swing and tactical voting can make a big difference to the result.

  14. NEILJ

    Your memory may be correct, and I admit to not remembering the date when it was announced, but that was at a time when May still had time to wait.

    This time, we know that May will be retiring soon, so we shouldn’t have too long to wait before we find out whether she means it or not.

    As DANNY has argued all along, May is the ideal candidate to make the revocation and will leave the stage soon.

    In a way, the timing would be ideal for her party, since it will allow whichever leader the Cons elect to replace her a two-year run-up to the next GE to plan in some detail for a second referendum, and start the whole process again, knowing that the EU won’t allow an immediate re-triggering of A50 and thus giving time to develop a more viable departure plan.

    In practice, I suspect that the Cons will try to forget their mistaken project, but even if they don’t they will be better prepared should they win the 2022 GE. At the least, whoever is PM at the time it could hardly be worse than Cameron.

  15. @ ANDREW111 – Happy to discuss the logic and tactics.

    We do have a tr0ll who goes in for his #42 “cunning plan” that has such fundamental “logic” flaws that they are in the hilarious Baldrick league but best to avoid engaging with him unless you want the #42 answer again, and again, and again and have hours and hours of time to kill ;)

    So, anyway, do you actually disagree with the Catch22 of LDEM’s “surge”? ie..

    A/ They fail on mission to Remain but will get quite a few more MPs in next GE

    For LDEM VI (and future MP numbers) to go higher they need LAB to “enable” May’s deal which means BrINO.

    B/ If they succeed in “Stopping Brexit” and we Remain then they don’t get many more MPs in next GE

    If LAB get fully behind a new ref (and Remain in that ref) then LDEM will likely give back most of the VI they have gained from LAB.

    If you see a flaw in the logic then let me know. If you want to tr0ll then fine – I’m up for banter, just not with boring tr0llbot 42 ;)

    For BXP then they don’t want BrINO either and probably want May to stay as long as possible so they can finish the “raid” on CON-Leave VI. Ideally every party becomes Remain or BrINO (except them and the “compromise effect” help of UKIP) and we have a “Betrayal” GE.

    Any flaw in that logic?

    LDEM and BXP have close to a common purpose here.

    Our common enemy is BrINO and the two parties that might “enable” it (CON and LAB). We can both “raid” their VI and perhaps the next GE is LDEM-Remain v BXP-Leave with the two old “Broad Churches” cut down to their core seats. (England and most of Wales at least, Scotland is going 90%+ SNP)

    Now neither LDEM nor BXP can admit the “tactical” side as voters don’t like politicians playing games – that doesn’t mean politicians don’t play games, just best not to be seen doing it!

  16. @ ANDREW111 – I see you agree with the BXP side of the “cunning plan”. In your reply to SAM

    “I think Revoke might turn into a Pyrrhic victory for Remainers. Once you set the precedent that Brexit can be decided entirely by Parliament, our future is subject to the arbitrary vagaries of FPTP.”

    Yes indeedy!!! Bring on a GE based on “betrayal” of democracy and MPs over-ruling the “will of the people”.
    We never saw what Leave was like but did see Project Fear1.0 was a pack of l!es.

    Farage becomes PM possibly on 30% of vote or less!!
    (might have to “Tartan Divorce” Scotland to get a majority in E+W)

    As for a new ref, then yep that is “less good” for Leave which is why (if we’re being honest) we’re happy to see May and Corbyn kick the can and hope 3rd time lucky with Macron (at which point Cooper-Letwin force Revoke through HoC and Queen Gina scores another own goal – she does love a Pyrrhic victory!)

    If we get a BrINO v Remain ref though then that is Remain v Remain (ie Leavers have been betrayed) and no way would leave want BrINO to win that.

    So Remain wins and it’s 1-1 with the players on Team Leave screaming to the fans in the stadium (ie voters) that Team Remain was offside for the equaliser and the ref is a “complicit” (possibly a different choice of word starting with “c” and I don’t mean Conservative!!).

    For that scenario then I’ll just copy a section from above for the response to that:

    “Yes indeedy!!! Bring on a GE based on “betrayal” of democracy and MPs over-ruling the “will of the people”.
    We never saw what Leave was like but did see Project Fear1.0 was a pack of l!es”

    My Glee Club favourite:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJqimlFcJsM

    just with a few lyric changes.

    “40years of hurt.. but sovereignty’s coming home!!”

    the only things we want from Europe can be won by Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC ;)

    “It’s coming home, it’s coming home…” :-) :-)

  17. TW
    Yes that is why the Lib Dems (apart from a small part of the membership) are not proposing Revoke.
    As pointed out, Theresa has floated the revoke option before to try and get her party in line with her deal. But we have also heard that she has been scoping another referendum. The EU WOULD give a further short extension to conduct that IMO.

    Whatever the result of another referendum the Brexit party and quite likely the Tories are finished and the Lib Dems greatly strengthened by having a consistent position (The SNP have shown that you don’t have to win another referendum to gain from it).

    I don’t think the Lib Dems have a cunning plan. They just want to finally harvest some benefit for representing Remain voters consistently on Brexit. The oxygen could be the Euro election, because it is like the traditional route of a by-election, and election where people are not electing a government and therefore do not care all that much about who gets elected, and can use it to send a signal.
    Hopefully we will have a nice by-election soon in Brecon and Radnorshire as well..

    Meanwhile the voters are noticing that Labour’s position is not clear, and imo it has got to the stage where no attempt to clarify it is likely to be believed. It is not a good position for them:

    Britain Elects
    ? @britainelects
    33m33 minutes ago

    On how clear each party’s Brexit policy is: https://yougov.co.uk/topics/politics/articles-reports/2019/05/15/labour-and-conservatives-have-least-clear-policies?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=website_article&utm_campaign=party_brexit_clear

    BREX: 59%
    UKIP: 48%
    LDEM: 41%
    GRN: 34%
    CHUK: 31%
    CON: 17%
    LAB: 13%

    (via @YouGov, 13 – 14 May)

    This suggests another YouGov voting intention is coming! Goody!

  18. Oh, and I am afraid your glee club favourite doesn’t scan!

  19. From Ann Milton MP, the Skills Minister, via twitter:

    “Its national numberacy day so test how good you are at numbers. It’s never too late to improve your skills.”

    :)

  20. @ StatGeek

    Similarish story. No leaflets until today, and then we got Lab and BXP on the same day. The funniest thing is that the (standard) BXP leaflet was addressed to my daughter, who is the only person in the household that can’t vote (being 17). I suspect it’s the first person in alphabetical order who gets the nod. Needless to say, even if she could vote, she wouldn’t be voting for Nigel. Both by personal preference, and under threat of withdrawal of parental contribution to Uni subsistence. Oh the power….

  21. @ CIM – EP and MRP

    Firstly for sure you have to exclude Wales and Scotland as they have a “NAT” party. NI is completely separate as very different parties and “criteria”, most companies just do GB though.

    I do see merit in excluding London from MRP for two reasons:
    a/ The x-break sample is big enough
    b/ It acts like it’s own “nation” and I’m dubious whether MRP picks up the differences there.

    However, for the other 8 English constituencies then using MRP should make the constituency x-break %s more useful.

    Perhaps an example (Survation as most recent and it’s already in excel format)

    SW.Eng. n=88 (weighted). BXP = 75%
    NI. n= 23 (weighted). DUP = 64%
    (totally pointless polling NI with such a tiny sample and obviously different parties as well, no idea why Survation do it)

    Those two examples don’t pass the “sniff test” – not even close, so can’t use them.

    The sample size is so small you get enormous MoE issues and hence can’t use the x-breaks.

    If you have the “raw” data (as a polling company does) then you COULD conduct MRP across all 8 non-London English constituencies and that SHOULD make the x-breaks more useful. They could always show the numbers “clean” and post MRP as well (as ComRes did in that one poll but I don’t think anyone else has done since, not even YG!)

    Why? Well I’d like to be able to see if we’re seeing any specific constituency moves (eg are LDEM making a come-back in their old stomping ground in SW.Eng or are BXP breaking the LAB hold in Y&H and NE.Eng)

    The ComRes poll that showed “clean” and MRP %s did have them fairly close but it was already a large(ish) poll (n=4,060) for c=11 (all England plus Wales and Scotland) so the x-break samples are much bigger than in polls where they cut the overall sample down to 1,000 or less (and some x-breaks are then 50 or less)

    It’s not a big deal but I just think its a shame that MRP is now fairly well respected as a “better way” and the EPs seem like a good chance to use it – especially if you are a polling company whose polling “accuracy” is a key marketing tool for selling your wares.

  22. @Trigguy

    That’s undemocratic, and totally hilarious. :D

  23. Interesting to observe the news from Alabama regarding the new law on abortion. It was passed in the state senate by 25 white men, and is designed entirely to prompt a legal challenge that will end up in the supreme court, in the hope that the more liberalised abortion laws that have stood for fifty years or so will be struck down by a newly conservative bench.

    There are some observations and connections worth noting here. In terms of the expected result, once this goes to the supreme court, this may not be as cut and dried as the anti abortionists think. Historically, the supreme court swings with the presidency, obviously, although there is good evidence that once elected, justices have a tendency to temper their views on politically charged issues.

    The reason is fairly clear, in that the supreme court has to not only rule on the constitution, but has to do so in a manner that is acceptable across the USA. In this, they are wrestling with one of the classic grey areas of any democratic system.

    Thanks to Trump, the supreme court of 2019 is already a highly politicised issue, and if it makes too many rulings that are seen by over half the country as overtly partisan, this has potential to lose the vital political support for the court. In the past, this has led presidents to threaten to swamp the court with their own nominees (numbers of judges are not limited) but the usual response is for the judges to take account of the prevailing mood and make judgements that are more balanced in their impact, thus retaining the respect for the court and democratic system behind it.

    In the US, the bipartisan nature of many areas of the constitution has increasingly failed, and it may be that the supreme court is next for this trend. If so, the life changing rulings that could be generated will be striking, and completely divisive.

    Democracy isn’t about the majority getting it’s way, but about the losers in the system being given a solution that still allows them to believe in the system. Regardless of systems or constitutions, written or otherwise, democratic
    structures are only any good if the people managing them retain some sense of the public good. Any constitution can be turned into a partisan bear pit.

    If this happens with the US supreme court, I can foresee the day when big, liberal states might just decide it isn’t working and leave the US. It’s likely to happen in the UK with Brexit and Scotland, if the winners fail to understand how democracy needs to function, and the US is no different.

  24. @TRIGGUY

    What is wrong with Nigel Farage? Await your reasons.

  25. BRXT

    “What is wrong with Nigel Farage?”

    I’m not a psychiatrist, so I would hesitate to give a diagnosis.

  26. BRXT…. he started with vowels in his name but then got rid of them….Coming here filling up all our words!

    Peter.

  27. @ TRIGGUY we too got a Brexit Party leaflet addressed to my under 18 son who has the first alphabetical name in the family. The Lib Dems sent their leaflet to my 19 year old – presumably aiming at the youngest voter.

    Regarding the EU elations, I think the way the polls are going suggests almost every party apart from CHANGE UK and the Conservatives will be able to claim victory. Like every other EU election it’s a nice occasion to demonstrate your opinions in something that makes little real difference. It will be interesting to see the percentage that go for Green; I suspect a lot of their voters will go Lib Dem.

    As for Brexit – I’ve thought for a long time it will never happen and nothing has changed my mind on that. Unfortunately for the Conservatives being the government means they will get the blame for whatever happens, even though their lack of majority means they can’t do anything.

    It’s in the interest of all the Westminster remain MPs to keep stringing things along until October, then force a revoke A50 on the government. I think TM is so blind to any sort of strategy that she will allow this to happen and her government to be blamed as a result. The anger afterwards will quickly bring down the government.

    In fact, the only thing that I could see saving the Conservatives now is to announce after the EU elections that they want to take the Brexit Party ideas on board (not difficult as there are rather few ideas there) and to become the Brexit Party in spirit – and then get a general election in fairly quickly. They will either lose (and conversely, save themselves as it will no longer be their fault) or – unlikely – get a majority with a full set of Brexit-positive MPs. Either way, they survive.

    There is zero chance of this happening under May, of course. If we wait until the Conservatives commit harakiri in October then the Brexit Party will split their votes worse than UKIP ever managed and we will be looking at a Lib/Lab/Nat government. If the Libs are lucky they will do very well and they might be able to get a government without the argumentative and disruptive Nat part. We *might* even see the Lib Dems close to parity with Labour (but I doubt that).

  28. @Danny

    Redrich,
    “The likes of Watson are in part gambling on the view that there are sufficient Labour leavers, who are more Labour than Leave and when push comes to shove will stick with Labour, ”
    surely, all the polling suggests this is the case. More, that many labour would be motivated to jump ship if labour does not support remain, hence justfying the possibility i state above, of a lib landslide in this election

    I generally agree with you on this; however, there is a reason why a relatively significant number of northern Labour MP’s now back Leave/won’t support a 2nd ref. When push comes to shove Labour’s only logical choice is to come out strongly in favour of a 2nd ref. and for a similar reasons for Cons to eventually come out in favour of ‘No Deal’. I get the sense that The Tory remainers (MP’s and voters) still fear a Corbyn victory more than the damage of No Deal and will cave in – I have more doubt that the Labour Leavers fear a Tory victory more than remaining and therefore will stick with Labour.

    In another post you quoted May as saying she would revoke if her deal did not get through – I thought she had said the options would be either revoke or no deal, which is similar to comments made prior to previous votes.

  29. Leaflets.
    The first was from LibDems. Postal, two members of the households. The content is somewhat similar to the local elections one. Clearly appealing to vote for us as we are not Labour. Unlikely to gain many votes around here. Still, at least an attempt to appeal to the region.

    Labour. Delivered by hand. Barely any mention of Brexit. The inclusion of Corbyn’s picture may mobilise some but can also be a turn off. The rest of the message won’t work around here (although it is a Labour voting area – it doesn’t at all match the socio-demographic characteristics).

    Brexit Party – postal, only to me (jolly nice – vote for us to get rid of you). Rather poorly designed one (not only the “issues”, but also Farage and the worshippers picture). It won’t appeal to many around here.

    The most surprising is the lack of Green activity (it was a problem already in the local elections – one leaflet then). They could have a good chance for beating Labour in the ward, and have a strong performance in the constituency (I know it is regional).

  30. Sam,
    ” There is a chance that the Tories could win a GE on a platform that includes a Canada style deal”

    The EU has said it will not make any deal with the Uk which does not result in an open Irish border. It is possible that a canada style deal is no longer possible.

    But aside from that, The tories failed to win an election in a country which was then slightly more pro brexit, and more pro con, at a time when the difficulties were a lot vaguer. Now, in a dogfight with a resurgent BXP, isnt the most likely outcome a labour majority? (if labour take a stance which allows a remain outcome, and I think consensus is they would offer a second referendum).

    The alternative outcome, if it has sufficient support, would be a BxP government and pretty much the death of the conservarive party. Hardly attractive for them. it wouldnt amaze me if after a number of economic crises, the country ended in a state of civil revolt against parliament.

    ” the Brexit withdrawal deal might be changed to include special status for NI alone”

    While the border has been made the casus belli, I also think it is a fig leaf disguising the fact the government thinks a continued deep trading integration with the EU is essential. I dont believ the government would accept a canada deal, quite apart from what the EU thinks.

    Andrew111,
    “Once you set the precedent that Brexit can be decided entirely by Parliament, our future is subject to the arbitrary vagaries of FPTP. ”

    But Brexit can and is being entirely decided by parliament. That is the Uk constitution. But it Ok, they are nearly all remainers.

  31. Brxt

    “@TRIGGUY

    What is wrong with Nigel Farage? Await your reasons.”

    more seriously: he was a BNP man. And when evidence was presented, he denied it instead of self-criticising.

    He is an example of a sentence in the 1960s French film, State of Siege (told to Yves Montand, who plays the role of an American agent).

  32. ALEC

    Nothing much shocks me re the USA now.

    But I was really hit by the fact that, in Georgia, penalties for doctors who perform abortions, for women who have been subject to rape and/or incest, are GREATER than the penalties for those two offences.

    That country has taken leave of its senses.

  33. neilJ,
    “As to the EU not agreeing a further extension. that has also been a well trodden path”

    British steel.

    How many headlines like that due to brexit uncertainty can any government survive? The harm which leaving the EU would cause has already begun and will only accelerate. There will be blame for this.

    The Trevors,
    “LDEM and BXP have close to a common purpose here.

    Our common enemy is BrINO ”

    Not really. i guess everyones common enemy is Brino in that no one wants it. But as soon as we consider alternatives, there is no coalition between remain and leave parties over whether we leave no deal or remain.

    From my remain perspective, government deal and no deal will end up with the same medium term outcome of the UK scrabbling to remake the EU in a BINO deal, and in the long term rejoining. No deal would probably cost a lot more, in money and in deaths.

  34. @Colin
    Sorry, was in a board meeting this afternoon, hence radio silence.

    You seem to have gained the impression that the description ‘elderly’ was intended to be demeaning, whereas it was genuinely meant to be simply descriptive. I simply meant ‘people who are old’, e.g over 65 perhaps.

    Why do their aspirations conflict with those of larger businesses? A few reasons I could suggest:
    – a desire for reduced immigration; whereas business is in favour of large scale immigration
    – a desire to slow the pace of technological change; whereas business is purposed to take advantage of innovation
    – a desire for the cost of care in old age to be covered from general taxation; whereas business desires taxes on work and profit to be as low as possible
    – a desire to maintain and enhance asset prices, as they are generally asset rich; whereas business (mostly) has no interest in artificially inflating asset prices
    – a desire to adopt socially conservative views; whereas much of business aims to adopt and benefit from social trends

    Neither view is ‘wrong’ in each instance, but it is – generally – different…

  35. The Trevors,
    “Yes indeedy!!! Bring on a GE based on “betrayal” of democracy and MPs over-ruling the “will of the people”.”

    Why does anyone think the conservatives want an election when they would face this?

    Alec,
    ” It’s likely to happen in the UK with Brexit and Scotland, if the winners fail to understand how democracy needs to function, and the US is no different.”

    I think it likely hard brexit would challenge the cohesiveness of England too. A situation where the capital is itself bigger than some nations, and at odds with the regions is rather dangerous.

  36. There might be a spot of trouble for the Brexit Party over donations.

    “The traffic shows that on the Launch day of the Brexit Party only 1,200 visitors – a fraction of the 16,000 £25 supporters Farage claimed had signed up that day

    The Sun journalist also witnessed Farage logging “on to the PayPal account to let us see the range of people paying £25 to become registered supporters — with 15,811 joining on launch day alone.”

    These figures have led Farage to declare a wave of popular support and funding for his new party. However, a review of the web traffic statistics for the site throws severe doubt on this claim.

    More Donations and Subscribers than Visitors

    In response to our article yesterday, the Electoral Commission told Byline Times: “It is an offence to attempt to evade the controls on donations. This includes where it appears that a donor is attempting to evade the rules set out in PPERA by making a series of small donations.”

    https://bylinetimes.com/2019/05/15/brexit-party-donations-farages-miracle-claims-do-not-add-up/

  37. Sorrel,
    “It’s in the interest of all the Westminster remain MPs to keep stringing things along until October, then force a revoke A50 on the government. ”

    I think the government understands it has become a laughing stock, and May is serious when she says it is time for a final decision. Better to do this before they are forced to because there is little or no mileage left now in pretending to be serious about leaving any longer. They have to produce a credible plan to proceed with brexit, and the only one left is revoke and reconsider how to do it. The economy being on permanent alert for a sudden no deal brexit is just not tolerable either.

    The Trevors, and all,

    The outcome of an election now is likely to be a disaster for conservatives, so they will not hold one until the next becomes mandatory. That was always factored in as one reason for the 2017 election, to give the maximum time possible to recover, whatever hapened, before the next one. The conservatives might have reasoned there might not be a better opportunity for decades.

    Things are going pretty badly right now. I am convinced the plan was to revoke just before the 2 year deadline, but the EU scuttled this by extending, and the opposition helped them by insisting the government ask for an extension. The Uk is now in economic torture as industrial rats start leaving the sinking ship.

    May went through the motions of talks, and it is fascinating to wonder what the two sides got from the talks. Whether they have agreed a plan, or spent the time catching up on other business.

    But the best plan now looks to me to be revoke and reconsider. Best for the tories, that is. They then have a couple of years before an election to either persuade the nation to forget brexit, or set up some sort of national process to really address how to do it.

    The best outcome of such an election for them would probably be a labour win. They would need to capture the moderate leave vote to stabilise their political position: in other words get things back to pre the decision to hold a referendum.

  38. @Trevor

    Agreed that those crossbreaks are too tiny to be useful – but they may also be too small to do much useful with MRPs either – if you’re looking for evidence of a Lib Dem revival in the SW, the intentions of similar demographics in the Midlands may not be all that useful. The Scottish/Welsh issue, but less severe. The Comres poll that did have an MRP also had a 4060 base sample, which I think is similar to the rolling sample YouGov used for their General Election MRP – the added expense may be a problem, though.

    Anyway, speaking of Comres, there’s a new Comres/Telegraph poll out

    General Election (changes since 8 April)
    Lab 27% -5
    Con 20% -12
    Brex 20% n/a
    LD 13% +6
    CHUK 6% -3
    UKIP 4% -5
    SNP 3% –
    Green 4% +1
    Other 1% -3

    European Election
    Brex 27%
    Lab 25%
    Con 15%
    LD 13%
    CHUK 6%
    UKIP 3%
    SNP 3%
    Green 7%
    Other 1%

    Both EU and GE VI basically identical to their poll for Brexit Express a few days earlier, which isn’t that much of a surprise.

    (Comres seem to be getting a lot of polling business recently)

  39. @Alec:

    On the US Supreme Court, if Gnsberg or Breyer die in the next year, the Republican side is 6-3, with 5 likely to serve for 20 years.

    If they live to see a Democrat elected in 2020, they retire, and the Democrats have 4 likely to serve for 20 years. All turns on whether Clarence Thomas lives to see a Republican elected again…

    It is no way to run a Supreme Court, let alone one as powerful as in the USA.

    But it is wrong to blame Trump for politicisation. The Democrats haven’t appointed an unreliable Justice since Kennedy. Clinton, Bush Jr, Obama, Trump, they have all got their picks spot on.

    A big problem is that the way to ensure you don’t appoint a cuckoo in the nest (e.g. Bush Snr and Souter, Ford and Stevens), is to go to the extremes. Everyone does it.

    The Democrats have used the Supreme Court to win absolutely on abortion; now they might have to win in State legislatures. It is no failure of democracy.

    The Democrats might well reap rewards from a safely Republican Supreme Court. At present, if you are strongly opposed to abortion, you have to vote Republican in the Presidential elections. A lot on the Christian right would have turned against Trump, but it was either him or another 20 years of Roe v Wade. Issues that should be one for the state legislatures turns into big issues in the Presidential election – and not necessarily in the Democrats interest.

  40. While Farage lying is always a likely explanation, I can think of a couple of others:
    – payment taken via paypal card reader at street stalls
    or (more likely)
    – a mailing list was used to direct people straight to the paypal payment page, bypassing the website itself. This would also explain the large numbers; they were already Farage groupies, possibly gathered from supporters of his farcical March for Brexit, and were just waiting to hand over the cash.

  41. Sorrel

    “If the Libs are lucky they will do very well and they might be able to get a government without the argumentative and disruptive Nat part.”

    Indeed. A nice safe Eng Nat majority will keep everyone in one part of the UK happy!

  42. Alec

    Like most people here in the US we realise it’s the woman’s decision as to what choice she makes concerning her body.
    However the figures for abortion in the US are rather startling since 1970-2015 there have been over 45 million abortions in the US and they are currently running at about 650,000 a year.
    I make no comment on these numbers other than you perhaps see why some people believe abortion has gone to far against the interest of the unborn child.

  43. Laszlo
    You are surprised by the lack of Green activity?
    For a small Party like the Greens activity has to be highly focussed, or done by other people. In Yorkshire and Humberside the Royal Mail appears to be delivering an A5 leaflet (although i have not had it). This is a cheap option, <1p per house, but still costs £300 per constituency, a lot of money for volunteers to cough up across Yorkshire.
    Anything else needs people to give up their time. Most people will not…

  44. Just put my latest averages into 3 swingometers.

    UKPR Con 240 Lab 299 LD 34
    Election Polling Con 239 Lab 300 LD 35
    Electoral Calculus Con 233 Lab 312 LD 22

    Spot the odd one out!

  45. Baz in Wales

    “Spot the odd one out”?

    Is it LD, cos it’s a lot smaller than the others?

  46. DANNY

    Perhaps I should have been more clear about “special status” for NI in a Canada style deal. It would mean NI staying in the CU and SM.

  47. BFR

    @”you seem to have gained the impression that the description ‘elderly’ was intended to be demeaning, ”

    I don’t know why you think so. I certainly don’t feel demeaned by it.

    I was simply questioning the implication of your post that there is a homogenous group of people who comply with the criteria you suggested.

    Thanks for your five political differences between “business” & the “elderly”. They don’t reduce my disbelief in your thesis.

    But as a row of pegs on which to hang the “Tories in existential crisis” meme which is increasingly popular on UKPR these days , they fit the bill I suppose.

    This is always a thing which bubbles up through the wave of optimism amongst left leaning enthusiasts at times like this..

    Perfectly understandable. And I feel pretty sure that Cons will at least face a period in opposition after the next GE.

    But I don’t think they are going to disappear-or that they will have to choose between “the elderly” & “business” or any of your other
    false dichotomies.

    On a personal note I was surprised last weekend, chatting to visiting grandaughter-a convinced Corbynista. When I suggested that she would get her wish & see him in No 10 soon-she disagreed. Indeed she has gone off him for not being “straight” about certain things.

    But this is anecdote & I resist the temptation to compile a list of things which ” The Young” now find separates them from Corbyn’s Labour Party.

  48. Sam

    “Perhaps I should have been more clear about “special status” for NI in a Canada style deal. It would mean NI staying in the CU and SM.”

    It would be much easier to give “special status” to England. by which they can be outwith CU & SM if they wish, but the other 3 polities all remain in both.

  49. Turk,
    “I make no comment on these numbers other than you perhaps see why some people believe abortion has gone to far against the interest of the unborn child.”

    Would it really be in the interest of the US to have half a million unwanted births each year?

    But if that is the figure for abortions, does it include, for example, prescriptions of the morning after pill? To what extent is that really destroying a life more than by wearing a condom? Will they ban those next?

    Sam,
    “Perhaps I should have been more clear about “special status” for NI in a Canada style deal. It would mean NI staying in the CU and SM.”

    I took that to be the idea. But i think it will not work, because the rest of the Uk will want that deal as well.

    Colin,
    ” When I suggested that she would get her wish & see him in No 10 soon-she disagreed.”

    I think she is right. I dont see an election before one is due. Whatever they vote for over brexit, con MPs are not going to vote for an election where half lose their jobs and the party gets rubbished. If brexit goes well…then no reason for an early election anyway.

  50. Farage is like marmite, you either love him or hate him

    One thing for sure though he is a lot more popular than Nuttall(a) :-) :-)

    Another thing for sure is “playing the man” hasn’t been very successful in recent elections (in UK or beyond).

    So I fully encourage the Establishment, ne0liberals, Corporate Elite, Brussels, Press, etc to keep “playing the man” with what looks like the same “play book” as before – hardly surprising given the lack or originality in Project Fear 2.0.

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