Prorogation polling

Three polling companies – YouGov, Ipsos MORI and Survation – have so far released polling on the government’s decision to prorogue Parliament in mid-September.

YouGov polled on the issue twice – a snap poll on the day of the announcement itself, with the same question repeated overnight. The on-the-day figures were 27% acceptable, 47% unacceptable, 26% don’t know. The follow-up poll had a similar split, but with the number of don’t knows dropping off as people became aware of the story – 31% said it was acceptable, 53% unacceptable, 16% don’t know. Tabs are here)

Ipsos MORI did an unusual online poll (almost alone among pollsters these days, most of their polling is done by phone). They found 30% thought the decision to prorogue Parliament was right, 46% thought it was wrong. Tables are here.

Finally there was a Survation poll for today’s Daily Mail. This found a closer result, with the public fairly evenly split – 39% were supportive, 40% opposed (note this is rounding the totals for support/oppose after they’ve been summed, hence the apparent discrepancy with the tables). Tables are here.

Overall it looks as if the public are opposed to the prorogation decision – though it is unclear to what degree. Whether that really matters or will make any dent in the government’s support is a different matter. Opposition to prorogation is concentrated among Remainers (in YouGov 82% of Remainers think the move is unacceptable, but only 24% of Leavers, in MORI’s poll 74% of Remainers think it was wrong, only 20% of Leavers, in Survation 74% Remainers, 14% leavers). If most of the opposition to the move comes from people who are opposed to the government’s policy anyway (and I expect the more fervent opposition comes from those who were most fervently opposed already) the government are hardly likely to worry too much over losing the crucial “people who hated us anyway” vote.

Both YouGov and Survation included voting intention in their surveys:

YouGov’s topline figures were CON 33%(-1), LAB 22%(nc), LDEM 21%(+4), BREX 12%(-1), GRN 7%(-1)
Survation’s topline figures were CON 31%(+3), LAB 24%(nc), LD 21%(nc), BREX 14%(-2), GRN 3%(nc)

Changes in the YouGov poll are from a poll earlier this week, before the announcement. In Survation changes are from a poll three weeks ago. There is a little movement up and down, but certainly nothing that suggests the announcement has done immediate damage to Conservative support.


3,389 Responses to “Prorogation polling”

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  1. Whoops. My example doesn’t add up to 100%, but you get the gist.

  2. Also – I missed Frank Field saying 2 days ago that he will vote for a VONC if one is brought by Labour to prevent no deal.

    Doubt he would back Corbyn as caretaker PM.

    The number looking better imo.

  3. Turk

    “So much fake outrage about Johnson being undemocratic”

    Why do you feel it so necessary to demean the point you are trying to make? Some people feel very strongly that what Johnson has done is undemocratic. Just because you can’t see anything wrong with what Johnson has done, doesn’t mean everyone has to agree with you.

    There is a very important point at stake here and to accuse people who have a different view to you as expressing “false outrage” displays an arrogance of the highest order.

  4. The threat of deselection could be counter productive. It could force a few to resign the Whip and the majority if there is one would be gone. Some may join the Lib Dems and make then stronger.

    I’m sure that Phillip Hammond would be worried about deselection. Sure he would get a better paid job elsewhere.

  5. @Pete B

    “I assume that’s a joke? England would win every time.”

    ——-

    Well it wasn’t that serious. Though you might have some kind of weighting system for votes. But anyway, if the Holyrood manifesto was preferable, there’s no guarantee they wouldn’t win. We’ve had Scottish PMs, why not Parliaments? And the EU rotate the Presidency…

  6. @Turk – Personally I think it is unwise for Brexiters (or anyone else) to claim ‘fake outrage’ at Johnson’s decidedly dodgy attempts to circumvent parliament.

    Despite what Johnson claims about a ‘big majority’ for Brexit, and despite what he and others claim about no deal Brexit being mandated, he is wrong on both counts. A very tight result with most of those leave voters wanting and expecting deal led Brexit was what we actually had.

    I take your point about some remainers seeking to frustrate Brexit altogether, but much of this stems from the highly partisan way Brexit has been organised. In this regard, what should be a major national decision led in large part by the need for as broad a consensus agrement has become a total sh!tshow of narrow, sectarian interest, driven through by a clique within a minority, against the wishes of parliament.On top of that, polls now say that the population as a whole wishes to remain.

    There is real outrage about this, but the much more important point is that neither side should be dismissing the other’s anger and upset as fake. Both sides (all sides, to be more technically correct) have valid viewpoints, and a settled compromise needs to be found that satisfies as many as possible, or at least is accepted as widely as possible.

    If the solution is rammed through by a faction that derides their opponents concerns as fake, it will not serve the long term interests of the country or the present government.

  7. PeteB
    I realise that a result as you suggest would be a problem, however, though Leavers like to talk up the risk of Full Integration etc, I believe v v v few Remainers support such a policy and even my 5% substantially overstates the potential support.

  8. @Charles

    The trouble with “Labour” compromising is that you’re not talking about some hypothetical monolith you’re talking about 247 MPs each of which is just as capable of being as petty and personal about this as Letwin and Soubrey are.

    That’s where it breaks down. The numbers don’t work. You won’t accommodate the half dozen or so the LibDem Leader reckons won’t compromise the one way by assuming all 247 of them would compromise the other way. I reckon you’d lose dozens.

    The legislative route has always been the only way. Although it’s almost out of time.

  9. JIMJAM

    The numbers for the VONC aren’t the issue. The VONC doesn’t stop no deal. You need the alternative that can command confidence as well for that. That’s where I can’t see a majority.

    And even if there were, there is no tested mechanism to force it into place.

    Those whose arguments about this used to include phrases like “but surely then the Queen would do something” must realise after this week what nonsense that it. She’ll do as she always does in dealings with the PM. As she’s told.

    We’d be in court interpreting the law again without any certainty of outcome.

  10. JIMJAM

    The numbers for the VONC aren’t the issue. The VONC doesn’t stop no deal. You need the alternative that can command confidence as well for that. That’s where I can’t see a majority.

    And even if there were, there is no tested mechanism to force it into place.

    Those whose arguments about this used to include phrases like “but surely then the Queen would do something” must realise after this week what nonsense that it. She’ll do as she always does in dealings with the PM. As she’s told.

    We’d be in court interpreting the law again without any certainty of outcome.

  11. wb61: …. As to the interim interdict decision in the Scottish courts if the law is anything similar to that in England and Wales then I am not at all surprised by the decision:
    The approach of the courts on interim injunctions in England and Wales is based on the questions set out in the case of American Cyanimid Co Ltd v Ethicon Ltd [1975] AC 396 which are: ….

    Thanks for this WB61.

    There is a kind of logic that if you don’t need an injunction to prevent damage before another hearing, then there is no point issuing an interim injunction, so I had read Friday’s ruling this way already and having followed some cases in US and English law, I think that some of the ways courts work are probably predictable across jurisdictions.

  12. @JimJam

    “Doubt he would back Corbyn as caretaker PM.”

    That boat’s sailed anyway, hasn’t it? I get the sense that both the idea of a short-lived caretaker Corbyn Premiership and the alternative of a government of national unity headed by a Clarke/Harman figure have been quietly dropped and that passing legislation to stop a hard Brexit and extend Article 50 beyond the current deadline is the only show in town now.

    Of course, if the Commons seizes the order paper next week and has enough time to pass the necessary legislation, the question then arises what the hell happens after that? The legislature will have effectively grabbed power from the executive, but no new executive will be in place. I’m guessing then that Johnson, as still the serving PM, would then ask HM to dissolve Parliament and we’d have a so-called “People v Parliament” General Election.

    All this is based on the assumption that the opposition parties in the Commons have concluded that neither a caretaker Corbyn government nor a national unity government will get a majority in a VONC (no Tory PMs to support prospect) but that consultations have led them to believe that, with the Speaker’s help, there is a majority to go down the legislating route. You’d be a brave Labour MP to vote with the Tories and DUP to stop that, wouldn’t you?

    Let the fun begin on Tuesday!

    :-)

  13. Perhaps manufactured outrage would be a better phrase. Parliament is always suspended for the conference season anyway, and Johnson has a number of significant policies which are different to May’s, which I understand means a new Queen’s Speech is required? Also according to some sources it’s the longest session by sitting days since the Civil War, so it’s well overdue.

  14. Peter – A VONC would lead to a GE if no one can command the confidence of the house in 14 days.

    As I said before the original Cummings Plan of straddling to GE to cover Oct 31st hence leaving by default with no deal must have been rules out.

    I have always agreed with you though that a less unlikely (still not likely) possibility was sufficient MPs to force through primary legislation in some way to prevent no deal.

  15. @ Crossbat

    Your 6.01 post (less than an hour after NickP’s Palace had put Villa in their place- I’d still have been reflecting on that I feel) more or less reached the same conclusions as me in terms of never being good to lose an election.

    The bigger issue is how confident do you feel that a farish right Brexit Tory government guaranteed to fail? If Johnson somehow gets his 5 years then that is a long time for him to get the worst out of the way and be able to claim the economy has been sorted, reshape the narrative and ask the electorate to let them get on with bringing back hanging or even just the standard tax cuts.

    Only in Greece was there been a total economic downturn for more than 5 years. All the economic models suggest that eventually things will return to normal despite probably never recovering lost growth during that period.

    In the meantime you can create a similar narrative to Strivers vs Shirkers and while the targets won’t be as big as “The EU” they may still have traction.

    Probably his main issue is squaring up the promise of tax cuts and non investment spending increases. On the political side his current antics appear not to have affected voting intention in the slightest. It’ll still be the economy that re-elects the Tories rather than how far right they are or whether they have become more moderate.

  16. On the previous thread, I asked whether the courts hearing prorogation-related cases would have access to the final report of HM Government’s 2008 “internal scoping review” of the extent of the Royal Prerogative powers. I can partly answer my own question, in that an “outline” of the report appeared publicly as the annex to the Ministry of Justice report “The Governance of Britain: Review of the Executive Royal Prerogative Powers: Final Report” in October 2009. The most intriguing thing about that document is that it seems clear that, in its general review of the Royal Prerogative powers between 2007 and 2010, HM Government paid _much_ less attention to prorogation than it did to many of the other Royal Prerogative powers.

    On a different but related note: it appears that the Labour Party was rather displeased about the unusually long (but still nowhere near as long as the one currently being planned) prorogation at the end of the 1962-1963 session of Parliament. The Order in Council for that prorogation was made on 23rd October 1963; on 24th October, the day the prorogation was due to take place, the leader of the Labour Party in the Lords tabled a motion which, if carried, would have instructed ministers to change their advice to Her Majesty on the dates of the prorogation, in such a way that Parliament would not have been prorogued on that day. But the motion was defeated by 101 votes to 32, so we’ll never know whether ministers would have considered themselves bound by it, not whether the courts would have considered ministers to be bound by it.

  17. @ Pete B: ‘The problem with your 4-way question is that no option would be likely to get more than about 30-35% of votes cast’

    When the governing body of the University of Cambridge is faced with three or more mutually exclusive policy options, it votes by AV; I don’t _think_ there’s anything in the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act to prevent the same being done in a referendum.

  18. @Alec

    “On top of that, polls now say that the population as a whole wishes to remain.”

    Absolute conjecture. If Remain MPs are so convinced they’ll win a Remain GE victory – they seem very reluctant to go for it!

  19. CB11 – under FTPA Johnson can’t call a GE without 2/3 majority of HOC; or the VONC route leads to one after 14 days.

  20. @PeterW: ‘Those whose arguments about this used to include phrases like “but surely then the Queen would do something” must realise after this week what nonsense that it. She’ll do as she always does in dealings with the PM. As she’s told.’

    There’s a Public Administration Select Committee report on the Royal Prerogative powers from March 2004, which mentions that one of the Royal Prerogative powers is ‘(in grave constitutional crisis) to act contrary to or without Ministerial advice’. I guess we’re not in a grave enough constitutional crisis _yet_.

  21. @peteb

    “Perhaps manufactured outrage would be a better phrase. Parliament is always suspended for the conference season anyway, and Johnson has a number of significant policies which are different to May’s, which I understand means a new Queen’s Speech is required”

    Once again, Parliament is not “suspended” during conference season. It normally agrees to adjourn. The important difference is that that decision is Parliament’s not the Government’s and an adjournment does not mean that legislation before Parliament falls as it does at a prorogation. Secondly, the proposed prorogation at 5 weeks is unprecedented. Thirdly, a Government can introduce whatever policies it wants whenever it wants and clearly the Government will be doing little other than Brexit for a long time.

  22. Turk: Why not MP’s have ignored the 52% who voted leave in 2016 at least Johnson is trying to force through the original result.

    I am sure that the dead, foremost amongst equals, will be eternally grateful.

  23. @Shevii

    “Your 6.01 post (less than an hour after NickP’s Palace had put Villa in their place- I’d still have been reflecting on that I feel)”

    I’d just about calmed down after seeing that 96th minute Villa equaliser scrubbed off for Grealish’s alleged dive. Ludicrous decision by the referee that should have been quickly overruled by VAR. Gary Lineker tweeted his similar disbelief shortly after the game finished. Kevin Friend, the inaptly named referee, is consistently incompetent and should be banished to the lower leagues for a while, although I don’t really wish him on any of those clubs playing at that level. He’s to football refereeing what Joel Wilson is to cricket umpiring!

    “The bigger issue is how confident do you feel that a farish right Brexit Tory government guaranteed to fail?”

    Your phrase, not mine, and nothing is ever guaranteed in life, but let’s turn it on its head and look at their chances of success. While I think they will win an election after/if Brexit is delivered on October 31st, I can’t see it being with a large and sustainable majority. It’s over 30 years since they last had one of those and the demographics of the electorate, and electoral map, still doesn’t look great for them. Accordingly, it will be an unstable government from the get-go, probably lacking much of a centrist and moderate element too. Deselections and defections may well have seen to that. Then, I suspect, the hideous part of Brexit begins for them, deal or no deal. They will be mired in its negotiation and implementation for years, forever picking scabs off old wounds and rubbing sensitive nerves within the party. Farage, who I suspect will have got about 10%, maybe more, in the GE, will niggle from the sidelines. Nerve-shredded politicians and governments do strange things, especially with a PM like Johnson at the helm who may well prove to be a poor statesman and party manager once the poetry of campaigning has given way to the slog and prose of government. He’s campaigning now, by the way, not governing yet.

    With that sort of government in office, probably dealing with some severe non-cyclical economic shocks caused by our departure from the EU, I see them running into deep unpopularity quite quickly with very little in the way of internal discipline or political flair to ride it out. They’d also have become an ideologically narrow based party by then, much less able to wriggle and shed skin in that age old Tory way.

    One proviso is the quality of the opposition that they may be facing when they hit the rocks. One hopes that Labour will have sorted themselves out by then but, to use your words, there’s no guarantee of that at all.

  24. Not much in the Sundays.

  25. Shevii,
    ” All the economic models suggest that eventually things will return to normal despite probably never recovering lost growth during that period.”

    What would be a complete list of models then, so we can check them?

    Try modelling this. UK banking industry shrinks at rate of 5% per year for next 20 years? Would that one by itself ensure permanent recession?

    I wonder wnat happens when all the pensioners realise they just voted to halve their pensions in real terms?

  26. “Accordingly, it will be an unstable government from the get-go….”

    From the start, for the British, and from the get-go for Americans.
    We have power cuts, the Americans have power outages.
    They have ‘erbs, we have herbs, “because there’s a [email protected] ‘h’ in it” as Eddie Izzard once said.

    We’re not the 51st state just yet.

  27. Alec

    “They have ‘erbs, we have herbs”

    At last! a question to engage the whole community.

    But ‘ow do those ‘eading for ‘ounslow to buy ‘erbs, pronounce their intended purchase?

  28. These comments are just partisan bitching and terribly boring. No one has anything interesting to say, you all just parrot the same old stuff over and over. No wonder Anthony posts so rarely.

  29. @Alec

    “We’re not the 51st state just yet.”

    I know, but I’m getting my servility in early!

    @Tintinhaddock

    “These comments are just partisan bitching and terribly boring. No one has anything interesting to say, you all just parrot the same old stuff over and over. No wonder Anthony posts so rarely.”

    Peaces of hate, peaces of hate…………………….

    :-)

  30. From Britain Elects

    CON: 35% (+5)
    LAB: 24% (-1)
    LDEM: 18% (-)
    BREX: 14% (-)

    via
    @DeltapollUK
    , 29 – 31 Aug
    Chgs. w/ 27 Jul

  31. Dunno where those extra 5 points the Tories seem to have come from. Rounding?

  32. @Prof Howard

    The data was 2016 referendum regions (applied to Survation’s regions where necessary) Remain results, versus the Survation poll Remain VI.

  33. Oldnat

    I don’t think one party could go up 5 points from rounding.

    That delta poll gives a higher Con+Brexit than other polls. Best wait to see if its repeated.

    Statgeek

    Thanks for explaining.

  34. Prof Howard

    If the 27 July results had the other parties rounded up by a small margin to the larger number, and the Tories rounded down by a similar tiny fraction, then the shift from Lab to Con could have been almost 2, and from LD & Brex almost 1 each.

    Add in a wee bit from UKIP remnants and Con’s new total nudging them up just sufficiently to be rounded up rather than down, then the +5 becomes a possibility due to rounding.

  35. Pete B

    “Johnson has a number of significant policies which are different to May’s, which I understand means a new Queen’s Speech is required”

    He may well have and a new Queen’s speech is due anyway, but it doesn’t need a five week prorogation of Parliament to prepare for it. What’s he been doing since he came into office?

    Also, this is not, as many have said, and which you imply with the phrase “significant policies which are different” a new Government. It is the Government that was elected on its manifesto in 2017. All that has changed is a new leader has been appointed by the governing Party; an appointment which the country as a whole had no part in. You surely can’t believe it right that only Conservative Party members should be allowed to elect a new Government with “significant” policy difference to that which was elected by the people of the United Kingdom as a whole..

  36. CB11
    “…that passing legislation to stop a hard Brexit and extend Article 50 beyond the current deadline is the only show in town now.”

    And what happens if any extension is denied by the EU?
    —————————-
    Danny
    “Try modelling this. UK banking industry shrinks at rate of 5% per year for next 20 years? Would that one by itself ensure permanent recession?”

    I do wish I had the 100% foresight of the future that you seem to.
    ——————————–
    Norbold
    “You surely can’t believe it right that only Conservative Party members should be allowed to elect a new Government with “significant” policy difference to that which was elected by the people of the United Kingdom as a whole..”

    Not too different then when Brown took over from Blair? I do not particularly support the Tories, but I will definitely vote for them if they deliver what I consider to be a proper Brexit – i.e. no backstop. Assuming they stand in my constituency, otherwise it will be Brexit Party or UKIP or independent if available.

  37. @STEAMDRIVENANDY

    “I know that folk decry a second ref. and bicker about the question. Whether there should be two choices or three etc but I’m surprised I got so little reaction to my suggestion of a four choice referendum that I made a week or so back.
    Those four choices would be:
    Leave No Deal
    Leave with whichever deal is current
    Remain as at present, negotiating developments as they arise
    Remain and go full bore for complete EU integration.
    That way both Remain and Leave have two options, you could term them Hard and Soft.”

    We already voted, leave. Whether it’s no deal or deal depends on whether the EU want to trade or not.

    Do try and keep up

  38. @ALEC

    “Despite what Johnson claims about a ‘big majority’ for Brexit, and despite what he and others claim about no deal Brexit being mandated, he is wrong on both counts.”

    Leave/Remain => Leave won
    Deal/No deal => No good deal has been agreed yet

    Therefore no deal is mandated

    “A very tight result with most of those leave voters wanting and expecting deal led Brexit was what we actually had.””

    A tight result even with the BBC trying to brainwash people and the Government spamming every household with a leaflet saying to Remain and you still lost. How funny.

    Most Remainers here still can’t get your heads around Brexit and yet now you claim to know why Leavers voted leave? Hilarious.

    “On top of that, polls now say that the population as a whole wishes to remain.”

    Yeah, just like those polls in 2016. Where’d they poll, Islington?

  39. Pete B,
    “I do wish I had the 100% foresight of the future that you seem to.”

    The funny thing is, I tend to keep an open mind on a spread of outcomes. The problem is that all the posts I see really only go for negligible effects of Brexit, which really is the most unlikely outcome. Far more likely is that leaving the Eu would create a significantly and noticeably better or worse outcome.

    It is a huge change for the UK economy which will have to be reconstructed. How that ends eventually, its hard to say, but this will be against a background of deteriorating world trading conditions, worse terms and more competition, and the general policy of deficit funding in the world economy running out of mileage.

    I dont see ANY brexit changes which will help the UK. That kinda implies the outcome has to be a negative one.

    Moreover, the conservative government which ran an election on ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’, then changed its mind and tried to put through a deal which would have led to the smallest changes in our current economic terms it thought it had a chance of getting. I presume it did this because it believes the economic effects would be very bad- not very good.

    If the proponents of Brexit believe it will cripple the economy, why would I disagree?

    What everyone needs to be clear about is that the politicians do understand this potential economic disaster, and if they allow it to happen the credit for it must be clearly pinned on them. The parliamentary dance we are now seeing is all about evading blame when it comes, all sorts of blame.

  40. Brxt,

    As to a new referendum, the question cannot be multiple choice. That was what was wrong with the last referendum, that it did not show a clear majority mandate for one course of action. If there are alternatives, the support for each alternative separately has to be judged.

    So I proposed, might be years ago now when we first discussed this, that there could be one question for accepting the single type of Brexit which parliament was agreed upon, or a few questions asking voters to accept or reject different options individually.

    So:
    Do you want to leave the EU with May deal, or remain?
    Do you want to leave the EU with no deal, or remain?
    Do you want to continue seeking to leave the EU but to remain untill an acceptable alternative Brexit is found?

    There has to be a clear majority will to leave, and there should be a minimum quorum, which I would have put at over 50% of voters. That might be difficult to impose now, but it should always have been the case.

    Arguably it ought to be over 50% of all eligible voters, which would include everyone not registered to vote inside the UK plus any abroad. I should think support for Brexit on this basis at the last referendum was 25% or less, nowhere near the number needed.

    If people cant be bothered to vote for something as serious as this, they certainly should not have it forced upon them.

    Similar considerations apply to elections for MPs, of course. Which are rigged to favour the established elite. UKIP should have had MPs ages ago. And on the other end of the spectrum, Greens, the local hospital protest party, and so on. Paliament does not represent people at all.

  41. @PROFHOWARD

    “Not much in the Sundays.”

    A piece by M Barnier in the Sunday Telegraph. I can find it discussed by R North here.

    http://www.eureferendum.com/

  42. @ Brxt

    “We already voted, leave. Whether it’s no deal or deal depends on whether the EU want to trade or not.
    Do try and keep up

    Last year my family voted to go on holiday. Two wanted to go to Torquay, one wanted to go to Skegness and two wanted a staycation.

    The Torquay group have discovered that the Torquay hotels are ruinously expensive and have decided we should go and camp on Torquay beach. They say that Skegness is the back du beyond and that if the Torquay hotel owners won’t be reasonable and lower their prices that’s their look out. Once they see us out their on the beach their greedy hearts will melt and we will get an excellent deal. In any event we voted to go away. Staycation lost, so obviously we are committed to Torquay.

    The Skegness voter is humming and hawing and trying to persuade everyone that Skegness offers unbelievably good deals. Everyone else says that Skegness is the least favoured option and that they should shut up and join the Torquay group or the staycation group depending on who is making the point.

    The staycation group is getting increasingly angry and claiming that nobody voted to camp on the beach and in any case one of the children has just come to the age where they are allowed to vote and their interests need to be considered.

    The Torquay group say a vote is a vote and there is no point in going over old ground. To make their point they keep on calling family meetings when staycation members are in the toilet or otherwise unavailable. Things are coming to a pretty pass where we have all told our work that we are going to be away but we have nothing booked at all. It looks like being a disaster.

    We are all well up to date with the nature of our family’s dilemma. What do you think we should do?

  43. Re. Prorogation for the Queen’s Speech.

    Lets just be 100% clear why this happens:

    In order to open Parliament for the new session it first has to be closed. One day would be sufficient. Around a week is customary, but is not necessary. 5 weeks is taking the p*ss.
    Even if MPs would have voted to preserve the conference recess, there is not the tiniest shred of justification for giving MPs an extra week of holiday after the last conference finishes on 6th Oct. (that is the Greens conference btw, which only one MP goes to, so lets ask her). Or most of an extra week before the first conference begins.

    We know porky pies are a favourite topic for the PM, but lets at least try and discuss facts on here.

  44. @Peter W

    At the moment you are obviously right in thinking that the legislative route is the easiest one for remain minded MPs of all sides. My worry about it is that it will not work. Once it becomes clear what it is that worry may abate. At the moment, however, I don’t see how we can force the government to delay leaving the EU and adopt a mechanism that will produce closure (a decisive parliamentary vote on an available deal or a referendum on the same).

    The problem with a VONC is, as you say, that it needs to be followed by a vote for someone who can command the confidence of the house. If it is not followed in this way, it seems to me that Johnson could probably play for time and arrange that the election takes place after we have left the EU. In any case there would be no one in power to ask for an extension which would be needed.

    So there is no point in a VONC unless there is prior agreement on who an acceptable leader would be and what he/she would be expected to do. Neither of these things is, as far as I can see, at the moment, agreed. The conservatives won’t accept Corbyn and according to Laura Kuensberg a massive number of Labour MPs would vote against anyone but Corbyn.

    As far as I can see, the best option would be to agree on someone other than Corbyn – It can’t be Jo Swinson but could be almost anyone else. They would agree to ask the EU for a delay to allow an election, and the possibility of a subsequent referendum. If that was denied they would revoke and reset. They would call a VONC against themselves and an election would result.

    For the anti-no deal parties to have any chance of success in this election they would also need to agree on their stance on Brexit. In my view this should be that they would all rule out no deal and would hold a referendum on May deal v remain as soon as possible after election. Their mandate for ruling out no deal would come from the election and their mandate for subsequent action from the referendum.

    This agreement would allow conservative and labour supporters of the May deal to campaign for that and those who want a really soft Brexit (probably what the country would settle for) can try and ensure this in the subsequent negotiations. In a sense that is what is implicit in the Backstop.

    As I said, the way to this would have to be via a strictly temporary government led by someone other than Corbyn. At the moment, only about 80 labour MPs would apparently support this. For the sake of everyone except the Johnson and Farage camps, it is, in my eyes, essential that someone in the Labour party – hopefully Corbyn himself – shows some leadership and swings Labour MPs massively behind some notion like this.

  45. As ON implies it would be a helluva coincidence that yields a 5 point increase without some proportional reductions for at least one or more other parties.

    Read simplistically 1 point could come from Labour, maybe even 1.49 when not rounded, leaving 3.51 points to come from DK and other parties. Given that the max that LD and BP could provide is 0.49 points each, that leaves 2.53 points to come from small parties and DK. That still seems an awful lot. I mean, I can’t see anything that has happened recently that would motivate DK voters to suddenly be motivated to profess Con support.

  46. Charles – there does not have to be a caretaker Government, should no one demonstrate sufficient support (plurality in a vote) in the HOC within 14 days of a successful VONC a GE will have to be called.

    Nice to see Kuensberg has been on here reading Shevii, Pete W and I – has been obvious for a couple of weeks.

    NB) 80 is unwhipped if Labour backed most would be 20-30 (my estimate, Pete W thinks more) would not.

  47. If enough Hammondites have enough spine to vote together against Johnson’s wishes he wouldn’t dare withdraw the Conservative Whip from a large number. The last thing he needs is a Progressive Conservative Party to the left of him as well as The Brexit Party to his right, thus splitting the Conservative vote three ways in a GE. Only if the pro-Deal Tories are chicken and leave the likes of Letwin, Grieve and Hammond abandoned will Johnson then risk expelling them. It is all down to the spine that pro-Deal Conservatives can demonstrate.

  48. Charles
    ‘But we always stay at home and it’s BORING. We’ve heard that Torquay is fantastic, even though we might have to live on the beach because we can’t afford hotels. We’ll be able to do what we want, eat what we want and if Dad doesn’t come we can set our own rules about who we play with and what time we go to bed. We’re more than happy to risk being arrested for vagrancy and dossing with the low life under the pier.

  49. Crossbat,

    But as Hodgson calmly pointed out, it was the right result on the balance of play..
    This year the Premier League looks quite competitive outside tge top two so far (exception Watford, perhaps)

  50. @Brxt – “We already voted, leave. Whether it’s no deal or deal depends on whether the EU want to trade or not.

    Do try and keep up”

    That’s a particularly unintelligent post, if we’re being honest. A deal awaits, and as the Brexiters are promising that the alternative arrangements can avoid the need for a backstop, they should have faith in themselves and agree the deal, as they know the backstop will never be needed.

    On the solution:

    One thing I do wonder about is whether Johnson might swing back to the EU’s original backstop and dump the DUP, for the sake of a deal.

    It’s clear from Barnier’s piece in the DT this morning that the EU haven’t budged, despite David Davis claiming on Thursday that they are cracking (what a total duffer).
    It is therefore the UK’s choice for a no deal, or a perfectly reasonable deal that protects the GFA. Unless Johnson could extract GB from the backstop, and wrap this up as a result.

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