ComRes have a new poll out in the Telegraph. Topline voting intention figures with changes from last month are CON 25%(+2), LAB 28%(+1), LDEM 16%(-1), BREX 19%(-3).

The Telegraph headline their report on hypothetical questions asking how people would vote if Boris Johnson was Tory leader, I’m rather sceptical of the worth of such questions when it’s a hypothetical that actually appears to almost certainly happen in a week or two’s time, but there goes. For what it’s worth, in the hypothetical Boris question the voting intentions are CON 32%(-5), LAB 25%(+3), LDEM 17%(-3), BREX 14%(nc) – a substantial drop in Conservative support from the same hypothetical question a month ago, suggesting perhaps it wasn’t such an effective prediction of Boris’s future impact.

Anyway, my general assumption is that parties normally do get something of a boost from new leaders, if only from the news coverage, enthusiasm of their supporters and whatever the new leader has planned to make an early impact. We shall see for real in the coming weeks.

As ever, other polls are also available – there have been two other voting intention polls this month:

Opinium in the Observer at the weekend had topline figures of CON 23%, LAB 25%, LDEM 15%, BREX 22%, GRN 8% (tabs here)
YouGov in the Times last week had topline figures of CON 24%, LAB 18%, LDEM 20%, BREX 23%, GRN 9% (tabs here)

There remains a significant difference between polling companies, most notably on the level of support recorded for the Labour party. The reason for this is unclear – polling companies these days are not taking radically different approaches towards turnout modelling or reallocating don’t knows, nor in how the questions are asked (though whether the Brexit party or Greens are prompted may be making a difference in some cases). By default that means the differences are more likely to be down to sampling make up – whether by the way respondents are sampled or weighted, companies are interviewing slightly different people. Specially, some companies seem to get Labour voters who are more loyal than others. I suspect some of this may be down to weighting variables (the measures polling companies choose to use, such as whether they control on education or political interest), perhaps some down to when past vote weighting data is collected – whether it is collected in the survey itself, or was collected at the time of the election (or in the case of MORI, whether past vote weighting is avoided entirely).

My advice, as ever, is to avoid the temptation of assuming that the polls that you’d like to be accurate are the ones that are, and that polls with results that you dislike are wrong ones that can be ignored.

However, it is probably worth paying some attention to polling for the European election results in May. At those elections we saw a very similar difference across polling companies, with extremely large spreads in terms of Labour support (final polls varied from 13% to 25%). It did tend to be the same companies showing high and low Labour support, the most obvious explanations did appear to be down to sampling, and when comparing to final results those companies showing low levels of Labour support were substantially more accurate. I am cautious about how much weight to put on these – after all, along with Ipsos MORI who were most accurate, my own company did conspicuously well here, and I wouldn’t want to fall into wishful thinking myself. There are obviously different challenges in polling low and high turnout elections (and other companies have other questions to ask about, for example, Brexit party support), but I would have thought that, in the absence of changes or explanations, it would sensible to be somewhat cautious of polls at the top end of Labour support if those same polls have very recently overstated Labour support in a national election.


1,092 Responses to “ComRes/Telegraph – CON 25, LAB 28, LDEM 16, BREX 19”

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  1. Although the polls have shown a range of results, we can now draw a few conclusions (which may only be valid for a limited time given how fast things can change).

    One is that the Panorama documentary didn’t appear to damage Labour (although of course we cannot rule out that Labour might be doing better without it, and the continued coverage of the AS issue could be making it harder for some voters to return to Lab in the medium term, but nevertheless most voters have probably heard so much about AS and Labour that fresh news about it doesn’t impact their vote much).

    Also worth noting is that all the last four polls agree on who the main two parties are (even if they put them in a different order), although of course the latest YouGov (C 25, Lab 21, LD 20, Bx 19) has the last three all very very close and the previous three YouGovs had Labour in third or fourth; so, we don’t know yet know whether this YouGov pattern has been definitely broken.

    I note with interest a post by AW on the YouGov site where he argues that Lab voters are disproportionately likely to forget how they voted in 2017, leading to some pollster weighting up the Lab voters’ votes incorrectly: https://yougov.co.uk/topics/politics/articles-reports/2019/07/17/false-recall-and-how-it-affects-polling

    If true this would suggest that YouGov’s lower scores for Labour were more likely to be correct than some of the higher ones.

  2. @Barbazenzero, You’re right, I should have indicated who I was replying to yesterday and the context. I’ll keep that in mind next time!

  3. NEARLY FRENCH

    @” Perhaps there are some real experts hiding in a cupboard somewhere, who know what they are doing and I just haven’t met them yet, but It’s a worry!”

    Well I certainly hope so-considering the catastrophic effects of policy lead farming practices carried out by all those knowledgeable farmers over the last 50 years.

    https://www.rspb.org.uk/globalassets/downloads/documents/conservation-projects/state-of-nature/state-of-nature-uk-report-2016.pdf

    The Wildlife Trusts, Woodland Trust, National Trust, RSPB and many other landowning conservation bodies have been and are responsible for retained & preserving what is left of UK’s Natural Heritage.
    As the State of Nature Report shows, the damage is being slowed. Policy makers at last are beginning to understand what damage they did by encouraging industrial farming.

    Globally 96% of mammals are livestock and humans, only 4% are wild mammals. 70% of birds are chickens & other poultry.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/21/human-race-just-001-of-all-life-but-has-destroyed-over-80-of-wild-mammals-study

  4. @NearlyFrench

    “. My experience of dealing with the environment agency and other wildlife/ environmental organisations is one of dealing with naivety and incompetence on an industrial scale. Laughably, if we forget that these people are actually being paid, they made the assumption that I knew nothing at all about the land that I farmed or the flora and fauna that it supported”

    Sounds like you had a run in with them, agricultural pollution really is wiping out wildlife on an industrial scale.

  5. @NearlyFrench

    “. My experience of dealing with the environment agency and other wildlife/ environmental organisations is one of dealing with naivety and incompetence on an industrial scale. Laughably, if we forget that these people are actually being paid, they made the assumption that I knew nothing at all about the land that I farmed or the flora and fauna that it supported”

    Sounds like you had a run in with them, agricultural pollution really is wiping out wildlife on an industrial scale.

  6. Jonesinbangor,
    “With all due respect, I don’t believe anyone is disputing the maintenance of trade on current terms. If the EU want to impose penalty terms to “punish” the UK for leaving, that, simply put, is spiteful and ultimately self-defeating to EU interests like the manufacturers in Germany, club-Med tourist resorts and French and Italian agri-sector. Ain’t gonna happen Danny.”

    Not sure if your reply was meant to be to the point I made which you quoted. I was seeking to explain that people talk about UK-EU trade, but the reality is the EU is a trading group made up of 28 countries. So if we leave, we lose a very good trading deal with 27 other countries in one go. Whereas each of them only loses a deal with just one country, us. The impact is therefore far bigger on us than on any other member of the EU.

    I say 27x, because there are 27 of them and 1 of us. Our trade with each country is different, but on average that is the result.

    It isnt about punishing anyone. This is simply the facts of the situation, they lose 1 partner, we lose 27.

    “My optimistic views is that we will leave with a transition deal that includes maintenance of equivalance on a surprisingly large range of social, environmental, food and free market regulations will of course be part of that.”

    Well if we do, then the Uk becomes, as they say, a vassal state. We simply follow their rules, whatever they are. Whereas as a member we make those rules. Its obviously preferable.

    ” I really do wish you’d stop defaulting to worst case scenarios, exagerrating impacts into some “we’re all doomed”prophecy.”

    I expect you do wish that, but I didnt exaggerate. I listed a set of factual consequences which must flow from a no deal brexit.

    “My optimistic views is …”

    Ah…isnt it you who is deviating from facts towards wishful thinking?

  7. JiB

    It is truly unbelievable how supposedly well educated & intelligent scientists can be so unaware of the effects of the policies they promote :-

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/apr/07/endangered-species-protection-animals-plants-pesticides-epa-insecticides

    …and even if we do something about our agricultural practices ( which we won’t) -what will it take to do something about our Little Pets ?

    https://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/Cats_kill_1_3_million_Australian_birds_each_day.aspx?fbclid=IwAR19Kb-u27LPHZ4IsakPwrHWepvwcHh5gSZCNyZnDlaA0-YivMR2DCUcq9A&s_id=171655790

  8. LASZLO

    Thanks for that very interesting reply.

    The social gradient that Marmot found that the middle classes die on average 8 years before the richest in the UK. At the bottom end of the gradient, very small additional amounts of income make a difference to the life expectancy of women. These look like psychosocial effects.

    The research into excess mortality in Glasgow compared with that of Liverpool and Manchester found that the causes of the excesses were violence, suicide, drugs and alcohol – psychosocial effects. The link is up above.

    Here is a link to a talk by Sir Harry Burns. In it he discusses the molecular changes exposure to chronic stress can bring and why Scotland is paying close attention to the early years of life.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpWTPyt78Jc

  9. RP

    I agree that the polls now show Lab and Con clear in the first 2 places. I think it likely that we have Brexit and LD close in the high teens.

    Also I agree that AW’s post on the weighting of Lab voters on the recall issue is interesting. As I have said before, YouGov look like a possible outlier regarding Lab but I am keeping an open mind on it.

    This week’s local by-elections look good for LD and worrying for Con.

  10. JiB: I don’t believe anyone is disputing the maintenance of trade on current terms. If the EU want to impose penalty terms to “punish” the UK for leaving, that, simply put, is spiteful and ultimately self-defeating to EU interests… I really do wish you’d stop defaulting to worst case scenarios

    As I understood Danny’s post, he was outlining the comparative impact of a no deal on UK and the 27 rEU nations.

    In the absence of a comprehensive trade deal, the EU is obliged by WTO rules to treat the UK, in tariff and trade terms, the same as other 3rd countries without a trade deal.

    In other words, until a comprehensive trade deal is negotiated and signed, the EU has no choice other than to treat goods and services coming from the UK the same as those coming from, say, Mexico. That means the Common External Tariff applies, and easy access for services goes.

    That is not imposing penalty terms to punish the UK: it is simply putting the UK on a level playing field with other 3rd countries, as the EU is legally obliged to do.

    (Of course, that won’t stop the consequences of our placing ourselves outside the CET being described as punishment etc, just as the warnings of those consequences are currently dismissed as project fear.)

  11. @Pete

    “Budget forecasts: take them with a pinch of salt

    https://fullfact.org/economy/budget-forecasts/

    Predicting the future is hard—ask any forecaster.

    On Wednesday the Chancellor presented the government’s latest Budget. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR)—the independent government economic watchdog—published its latest economic forecasts, including a forecast of economic growth.”

    “Forecasts get revised over time—sometimes upwards and sometimes downwards. The graph below shows how forecasts for each year developed. The black dots show how the actual economic outcomes turned out.

    In some cases, the revisions bring the forecast closer to what actually happened with economic growth, and in others they ended up further away.”

    “Like weather forecasts, economic models are sometimes very wrong. They have a better record of predicting the impact of small changes in the near-term than large “unpredictable” events that break with the immediate past.

    Models look at the past to predict the future. It follows that they are most likely to be accurate when it is reasonable to think that the future might unfold pretty much like the past. For the same reasons, it is no surprise that models are very poor at predicting turning points, like big shocks and their consequences (such as the 2008 financial crisis).

    And like weather forecasts, different models and different institutions make different predictions about what’s going to happen.”

  12. Oh Colin, how could you of all people be believing uncritically what the Guardian newspaper reports!

    I am much more convinced by this second one, and believe that “educated scientists” are nearly all very concerned about herbicides and pesticides being used extensively without proper long-term testing. And reckon our public is simply not getting informed by the mass media on the dangers e.g. from glycophosphate, “round-up”, etc.

    But that first Guardian article “96% of mammals are livestock” is shoddy journalism. Surely all this analysis should be stressing that the measure employed is of biomass or weight, and that number counting would give totally different results. And I still don`t believe that the total weight of all those little rodents, mice, voles, etc is so small.

    But I`ve no time or patience to check out the Guardian sources, being too busy trying to identify rare plants in between the torrential downpours.

  13. DAVWEL

    Ah- I see you adhere to the “Shoot the Messenger” school of thought.

    If you wish to take issue with that data -then at least examine the source. The identity of the newspaper is irrelevant. If you have no “time or patience” to do so then you criticism is worthless.

    https://www.pnas.org/content/115/25/6506

    Sorry about your rain-glorious weather down here. The butterflies on the South Downs are spectacular-never seen so many Chalkhill Blue.

  14. As so often, I prefer Alec`s judgement and knowledge over the Trevors` extractions from sources they don`t really understand.

    But on sheep farming and lamb slaughtering if no deal, it really is difficult to make sound predictions on how farmers will cope.

    I don`t think anyone here has mentioned that yows are pregnant on average for 147 days, so with an adequate warning on no-deal, or cessation of sale to the EU, farmers will choose to put fewer gimmers and yows to the tup.

    So instead of it being just a problem of inadequate slaughtering facilities, it will be a problem of much diminished income in the short term for the farmers who export, and a longer-term decline in sale prices for the upland farmers who sell the 4/5-year-old yows to lowland farms for producing fat eating lambs.

    So my judgement is that most likely there will NOT be more than 5 million extra slaughterings in a year on no-deal. But that doesn`t mean to say no-deal won`t be a real disaster for many sheep farmers.

  15. DAVWEL

    For your interest-when you have time and/or patience :-

    Total numbers in UK:-

    Cattle 9.6 million
    Sheep 22.5 million
    Pigs 4.6 million
    Poultry 188.4 million

    DEFRA
    Livestock numbers in England and the UK
    2018

    What do you reckon that lot is as a % of UK’s total animal biomass ?

    …oh-forgot UK’s cats-8 million of them.

  16. Apologies in advance for a post about polling. I’m repeating my theme from last week that the ComRes and YouGov aren’t so incompatible as they first appear. In fact it’s even more striking this week.

    Let’s put them side by side in an order which clarifies this:

    CON 25 25
    BXP 19 19
    SNP 4 4
    OTH 4 3

    LAB 21 28
    LDEM 20 17
    GRN 8 5

    In the first group, the numbers are almost identical. In fact uncannily so, given statistical fluctuations, but these correspondences are going to happen from time to time. The differences all come down to what could broadly be described as the centre and LoC parties of England + Wales. There YouGov is showing 3% higher for LibDems and Green, at the expense of Labour. As always it’s impossible to say which is ‘correct’ and moreover how tactical voting in a GE might change those numbers. But the key point I’m trying to make is that the big difference (at the moment) between YouGov and ComRes is NOT a LoC vs RoC bias. It’s more the distribution of the votes in the non-RoC camps.

    Please feel free to disagree violently on this topic, anything to stop the continuous flow of Brexit posts. And thanks to RP and BazInWales for actually mentioning polls too.

  17. @ PETERW – Thank you correcting others and adding some extra detail.

    @ ALEC – So do you want to up the cull number to 10million and make it just lambs?

    or at least commit to 9million number (sheep of all ages) – make your mind up time!

    I’ve committed to 0 to 1million (as it does depend on the mitigation measures and I don’t have a time machine to check)

    FWIW some “new” info officially released y’day that seems to have picked up a bit of press and covered issues like lamb/mutton becoming cheaper under “No WA” (pretty obviously). It’s various industry bodies so a bit of lobbying to push for a strong HMG response.

    Big report (link at bottom) was released back in May (but maybe not officially?) Anyway as always note the assumptions before hyper-ventilating (specifically zero extra govt assistance, see p18)

    “Direct payments reduced by £150 million; public good type payments increased by the same amount to leave overall support unchanged. Again, this assumption becomes relevant for the farm-level analysis considered later on

    emphasis added as clearly that assumption is unrealistic (see earlier point about lobbying). Boris has been less specific on the additional help (where as Hunt was planning to double the current 3bnish we get under EU to 6bn – OTT IMHO).

    I very much doubt the various scenarios covering more PLAUSIBLE scenarios will be released (although i’m somewhat surprised they haven’t been leaked), however, pretty easy to do some quick maths on the “farm-level analysis considered later on (in the report)” to see how “No WA” can be fully mitigated. As for being a “catalyst” for change then not much about that in the report.

    https://ahdb.org.uk/news/impact-of-tariffs-and-tariff-rate-quotas-trqs-on-beef-and-sheepmeat-trade

  18. @ ALEC – I’ll speed it up for you. The raw info you might want to check is in Table 7.8 (p99)

    For sheep: EU exports shrink to almost zero (obviously) but much of that is expected to be offset with drop in imports and increase in domestic consumption (as price will be likely to drop in absolute terms and relative to substitute goods) – so overall only a 9% drop in UK production (note the assumption issue on net zero HMG assistance so this is “market only” response)

    NB RoI beef exporters should take a look at that table for sure!!

    Anyway, skip a bit further and you’ll see the “per ha” info which is clearly where the money side comes into it (they seem to be pushing for the simpler quick fix via land (CAP2 approach) where as I hope it is more CAP1 – but TBA on that).

    I’ll even link direct to the report to save you that effort:
    https://projectblue.blob.core.windows.net/media/Default/Imported%20Publication%20Docs/Dairy/AHDB%20Red-Meat%20Trade%20Barriers%20Draft%20Report_Updated_160719_V2.pdf

    So. Which number you wanna put on the “No WA” sheep “cull” – 9million, 10million or something more realistic (possibly even agree with 0-1million)?

    PS I’d disagree with some of their analysis (eg beef prices will likely go up a bit, not down a tiny bit) but it is still a very detailed and excellent report to go for all the raw info so folks can make there own adjustments for more PLAUSIBLE scenarios than HMG simply abandoning farmers to market forces under a “No WA” scenario

  19. @Colin

    “Well I certainly hope so-considering the catastrophic effects of policy lead farming practices carried out by all those knowledgeable farmers over the last 50 years.”

    Crikey, you’re on feisty form, aren’t you? I thought the recent YouGov poll might have calmed your nerves a little, but obviously not. Let’s leave aside your impeccably good-humoured and insult-free contributions to UKPR over the years, making you an absolutely unimpeachable arbiter of others failures in this regard, I’m surprised that you’ve gone at the farming community in quite the savage way you have. I’ve always, in an almost grudging way, quite admired the way you normally first seek out and verify the political persuasions of the groups you then go on to attack, which therefore surprises me that you have such a low view of our agricultural pillars of the community. Are you not aware that these custodians of our countryside, and providers of the nation’s food, are the salt and earth of the Tory Party too? Fund raisers, donors, activists, voters and lobbyists, these fine fellows and lasses more or less make the Tories tick in their rural fiefdoms. You mustn’t be so harsh on them for they are instrumental in giving you the party that you habitually vote for.

    I know many of them personally, and are friends with some. My experience of them is that, just like you, they loathe and fear Corbyn to a man and I would have thought that you and they have a lot in common from a political point of view. Their world view, if not their attitude to pesticides, is probably very similar to yours. Despite being deeply conflicted on EU farming subsidies, they’re almost universally pro-Brexit too. Talking to many of them, they are deeply disturbed by the number of Asians in Sparkhill and Moseley.

    Isn’t that political brotherhood worth a few butterflies and other insects here and there? I mean, for the greater good and all that?

    :-)

  20. @ DAVWEL – ‘As so often, I prefer Alec`s judgement and knowledge over the Trevors` extractions from sources they don`t really understand”

    Well of course, you prefer Arch-Remain doom+gloomer ALEC’s.. well call it what you like but “knowledge” is a whopper IMHO so we’ll disagree on that :-) :-)

    Luckily neither of you, or HIRETON are going to be making the decisions that will determine the outcome BUT if you want to join the sheep cull prediction numbers then please state how many you think will be culled if/when we leave with “No WA”

    Trevors: 0-1million
    ALEC: TBA but indicated he might want to up his view to 10million (and lambs only) judging by a second newspaper article he’s now found with an even higher number in it than Graun’s piece that mentioned NFU’s 4.5million.

  21. trigguy,
    “In the first group, the numbers are almost identical. In fact uncannily so, given statistical fluctuations,”

    i saw your observation before. Someone above linked an article by AW, which discussed mis-reporting of how people voted in 2017. The results there was quite accurate reporting by conservatives, but a 20% discrepancy amongst people saying they are labour now.

    Which might be evidence there is more of an issue about the accuracy of labour number than the conservative.

    Otherwise, since lib and green are also implicated, it seems to be about assigning remainer votes.Maybe they are more uncertain about who they would vote for, or somehow the polling isnt categorising these people properly because they are giving conflicting answers.

    Sorry, but this has beome a brexit post.

  22. @jib

    “With all due respect, I don’t believe anyone is disputing the maintenance of trade on current terms. If the EU want to impose penalty terms to “punish” the UK for leaving, that, simply put, is spiteful…..”

    Oh come on, Brexit is predicated on not maintaining trade on current terms becuase Brexiters for political reasons want to leave the Single Market and Customs Union.No Single Market, no Customs Union, no trade on current terms. Any trade agreement is bound by to be less favourable in trade terms with 5he EU. The Brexit claim so far unsubstantiated is that this will be more than compensated for by new trade agreements with other trading groups and countries.

  23. The Trevors,
    “For sheep: EU exports shrink to almost zero (obviously) but much of that is expected to be offset with drop in imports and increase in domestic consumption (as price will be likely to drop in absolute terms and relative to substitute goods)”

    Why? I mean, we are told sheep farmers are on the edge of viability at current prices, so how could they cut prices and still keep farming? If there is a change in tariffs or quotas, isnt it likely to mean more, cheaper, sheep imports become available, depessing prices and substitutiong sales which previously were of Uk sheep? So aside from loss of foreign markets, Uk farmers will be losing Uk market share too?

  24. @ JIB – You are correct that we are basically self-sufficient in milk (some issues will exist in NI) but in every other major agri-food category we are a net importer (yes, even lamb!)

    Anyway, real work to do so that’s it for today.

  25. CB – while you are on I have say that I will miss your reports of Brillo et al from your favourite TV show.

    TrigGuy – I am with you it is the ABT/BXP vote which varies.

    Given FPTP should a GE be called any time soon and Labour offer a second ref on any deal in line with LD/Greens and Nats, coalescing will imo render a ROC Government unlikely with Labour having to lead a Government from a minority position in some fashion.

  26. @ Danny

    “Sorry, but this has beome a brexit post.”

    Well, at least it was a “Brexit in the context of polling” post, rather than just a Brexit rant. And a fair point too. For those currently motivated more by Brexit than party affiliation (and evidence shows that’s a significant percentage), the choice on the remain side is not always obvious.

    I am fortunate in my constituency that my MP is of the party I would naturally support, and has views on Brexit which I can mostly agree with (even if not completely in step with his party). So I would have few qualms in voting for him. Many will no doubt be in a more difficult situation if there were to be a GE, and those tactical choices could make a huge difference to the result.

  27. Trigguy

    “the key point I’m trying to make is that the big difference (at the moment) between YouGov and ComRes is NOT a LoC vs RoC bias. It’s more the distribution of the votes in the non-RoC camps. ”

    Thanks, that is a really good point. I’ve had a look back over recent polling and there does seem to be a consistent pattern of 44%-ish for the Con/BXP side and 49%-ish for the Lab/LD/Grn side.

    What I find interesting is that while the Conservatives have recovered some support in recent weeks, the overall ‘Con+BXP’ VI has been reducing – presumably this is the result of remainer-tories who can’t stomach Boris Johnson moving over to the LDs.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_for_the_next_United_Kingdom_general_election

  28. Colin:

    Many thanks for publishing the link to Ron Milo`s excellent ground-breaking study, a link that the Guardian didn`t include in its report. Nor did that report emphasise that what was being talked about was biomass, which I said earlier was probable.

    Having looked now in Milo`s appendix, I still feel that the mammal breakdown into livestock and wild mammals will be challenged. I have quickly spotted c. 350 mammal data sets being subjected to a scaling-up to allow for body weight and numbers, and feel this creates substantial uncertainty.

    I also note in the article:

    “Another surprise is that the teeming life revealed in the oceans by the recent BBC television series Blue Planet II turns out to represent just 1% of all biomass. The vast majority of life is land-based and a large chunk – an eighth – is bacteria buried deep below the surface.”

    In the present climate of vested interests digging out what they want from careful scientific studies, I can well expect some to seize on the oceans being unimportant from that. And others will be claiming that cattle and pigs are totally ruinous and we all should be vegetarians.

  29. Trevors @ 11.14 am

    You still give away your uncritical approach by not specifying the time scale for your slaughtering of lambs.

    Is it in a year, or the total eventually slaughtered out of the yearly lamb crop? Is it extra slaughtering to what normally happens due to No-deal, or the total slaughtered? And just in the UK or everywhere?

    That said, I broadly agree with you that management will respond and there won`t be a crisis at slaughterhouses needing extra staff and all-hours working.

  30. Trigguy,
    “…and those tactical choices could make a huge difference to the result.”

    So maybe a wide variance in polling isnt surprising?

    I’m suspecting pollsters arent getting to the uncertainty in remainer’s minds and it IS affecting their final scoring. Now, their allocation of leavers might not be right either, but they do seem to be being more consistent about it.

    ” For those currently motivated more by Brexit than party affiliation (and evidence shows that’s a significant percentage),”

    While this is major, i’m putting it at about 15% of voters on each side of Brexit, with perhaps another 15% for each of lab and con tribally. Dont recall any analysis trying to split these groups based on clear evidence?

    That would give me 60% total, to turn out in a general election. Then the minor parties have been ignored, but might become critical given FPP and creating a nucleus for tactical voting (or splitting the vote).

    I’m thinking there is quite a high likelihood of a split leave vote because of different visions of Brexit. Whereas remainers are more likely to make a last minute decision to support the favourite. Which could be setting us up for a re-run of voters appearing from nowhere to support remain as per 2017. Most likely that would be lab, but manifesto not written yet.

    A few local elections have shown huge swings to libs, noteably from con. that might be an indication of FPP suppressed desire to switch. There is a possibility of con scaring away tribal tory who dont much like brexit and its implications, but who could live with ‘tory light’ libs in power.

  31. Edge of the Reason and Pete

    This was my initial claim:

    “So, we have had a large increase in employment – but it mainly comes from people who would have retired and women. It is hopefully, but unlikely, a result of desire to work.”

  32. Trevor(s)

    “Anyway, real work to do so that’s it for today.”

    Putin called a meeting?

  33. CB11

    :-) :-)

    Try getting off those tramlines now & again old chap-it might broaden your view a little.

    :-)

  34. DAVWEL

    @ “a link that the Guardian didn`t include in its report.”

    It was actually-which is where I got it from :-)
    ( 5th para-in red underlined-ie clickable)

    @”others will be claiming that cattle and pigs are totally ruinous and we all should be vegetarians.”

    Just so-it was ny Vegan grandaughter who brought it to my attention. The reading she has prompted has shocked me I’m bound to say.

    I think it is one the ironies that developing countries destroy their natural habitats & biodiversity, but when they have joined the “developed” and have a decent per capita income they start to regret the damage & support conservation of what is left.

    So I fully expect that the trend away from meat consumption & the damage that livestock farming does to plant based foods will escalate in the “west”.

    But by the time Africa, Asia & China get there , the Planet will already be fu**ed.

  35. @JONESINBANGOR
    In actual fact, I was attempting to assist them in a flood alleviation scheme which, had it worked, would have diverted some of the water into my land rather than into a village downstream. The scheme failed because the dam that they built was woefully inadequate and collapsed as soon as it was tested. Their insistence on using only natural products in its construction, therefore no concrete, was touching. Still, it’s only money.
    @COLIN, CROSSBAT11
    I don’t for one minute pretend that there are not a number of philistines in the farming fraternity. Ironically, when the Government in the guise of The old ministry of agriculture or DEFRA have sought to guide the direction of farming, it is always to the advantage of the Philistines and agribusiness. I don’t see anything to make me think that is about to change.

  36. In those by elections results that filter through now and again I’m not seeing any evidence of BXP candidates standing. Is this the case?

    If there is an upcoming General election this suggests they are not going to be well organised. I’m sure a lot of a General election will be about which party makes the most impression on the TV and newspapers but it will for them if they expect Farage to do it all.

  37. @ Shevii

    I think I heard that they are putting up candidates in next week’s locals. Could be interesting.

  38. Colin:

    You were right on the red link, which in haste I didn`t test.

    But you won`t get an answer from me about livestock`s share of the UK total biomass. Surely all that matters is that it is substantial.

    And simply saying 96 or XX percent of mammals are livestock plus humans, cf. 4% being wild animals, is IMHO intended to provoke. To most people, percentages are based on numbers, and the average reader, even of the Guardian, will not imagine that this is 96% of weight on the earth.

  39. It’s being reported that the income tax raised in Scotland is short of the estimate by £941m . Westminster will cover £700m under the terms of the Scotland Act but the remaining amount will have to come from higher taxes or cuts.
    And if the amount raised had been above the estimate, this would have been kept by Scotland.

    If this is right, it is an outrage. A win/win for north of the border.

    What is going on?

  40. Northumbria PCC results out – Labour hold, though on a reduced majority. IND second. Very low turnout.

    @trigguy

    Yes, interesting pattern there. And looking back, James E’s 44/49 split between RoC/LoC+Centre seems to hold pretty well going back quite some way – indeed, hasn’t noticeably shifted since the 2017 GE … and same in the 2019 EU as well.

    How it’ll rebalance with campaigning, tactical voting, “anyone but” motivations, etc. if we get an actual election? Comres has some hypothetical VI polls on various cases where an election is called in its latest tables, but I suspect they’re not particularly valuable (for what it’s worth, little change in LoC+Centre breakdown, but actually having left moves a lot of Brex votes back to Con)

    @shevii

    I suspect Brex aren’t standing in local by-elections for two reasons:
    1) Local councillors have no ability to achieve Brexit
    2) There’s no chance of getting the same sort of positive coverage the EU elections got them for a big win. (And not much chance of getting a big win, either)

    Though, finding a full set of candidates is tough even for the really big parties – e.g. no Conservative candidate in yesterday’s Ceredigion by-election – so if it goes on to the 2020 locals they might not stand many there either.

  41. DAVWEL

    I see no provocation at all. The piece clearly has a vegan slant, but it calls on a scientific paper to support it.

    Quoting Milo’s data in terms of the quantum of man made biomas ( humans + farmed livestock) vs biomass in the natural world is just a simple & graphic way of expressing the extent of mans’ intrusion into the biosphere.

    This is only “provocation” if you believe that consumption of meat should not be challenged-or indeed that data on the adverse environmental effects of mass global animal husbandry is in some way flawed.

    I have little time for the militant wing of Veganism ( or anything else come to that !)-but I do accept that they have a strong case on environmental grounds when you dig into the farming production process. So I didn’t feel at all “provoked” by the G article.

    I actually ind the data astounding.

  42. The full OBR report is a 300page monster. Very good sections in their on ageing population, climate change measures etc.

    The Brexit “stress test” is chapter10.

    I’d encourage everyone who ever comments on Brexit to read the whole of chapter10 and specifically make note of the assumptions (decide for yourself it they are plausible and if not then how that will effect the results).

    However, if you want the quick easy chart to look at then go to p258 (and consider how press with a specific “bias” can cherry pick info and spin that chart – I think we had a taker on previous page!)

    https://obr.uk/frr/fiscal-risks-report-july-2019/

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