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. @ RAF

    I hope you’re right and the judges get their heads together to find a long term solution to this. The thing is it didn’t prevent the rebels from getting their Bill through. The use of SO24 should be explored, someone told me there’s a crowdfunding process starting with the intent of challenging this in court but I haven’t had time to check if it’s true.

  2. @ HAL – “Any “I agree with Jeremy” moment would be lethal to her (Swinson’s) ambitions”

    The real question is does she actually have any ambitions.

    It seems songs are more popular than movies on Planet Remain so I’ll offer up a trilogy of Queen of the Stone Age[1] songs and even put them in time sequential order and give a few of the key lines:

    Risk if she doesn’t go full Revoke and “bounce” Corbyn:
    “Little Sister”

    “Hey, sister, are you all alone?
    I’m standing out your window…

    (trailer adjusted for a PC audience)
    “..Little sister, can’t you find another way?
    No more living life behind a shadow

    and since PM Corbyn = temp PM TINA (unless JJ and I are wrong)

    then next up will be

    Under Corbyn’s LEFT wing (or on McDonnell’s lap) – TBC which ads we’ll target in all CON-LDEM (or vice versa) marginals.
    Go with the Flow

    “I can go with the flow
    Do you believe it in your head?
    It’s so safe to play along
    Little soldiers in a row
    Falling in and out of love
    With something sweet to throw away.
    But I want something good to die for
    To make it beautiful to live

    Is PM Corbyn and LAB Brexit policy “good to die for”??

    That is the imminent choice she faces and TICK TOCK

    If LDEM want 2010-15 coalition all over again but with Corbyn instead of Cameron then go ahead, then it will be back to the wilderness and possibly forever this time:

    No one knows

    “I journey through the desert
    Of the mind
    With no hope
    I found low
    I drift along the ocean
    Dead lifeboats in the sun
    And come undone”

    Worth listening to all the songs as great band, great lyrics – IMO of course ;)

    [1] Double entendre there. Note some explicit language and imagery in some of those songs so certainly don’t go check all the lyrics if your easily offended.

  3. @peterw

    I think it makes more sense to view it as a series of checks:
    – is the Order in Council valid under English law
    – if yes (or untested), is the Order in Council valid under Scottish law
    – if yes (or untested), is the Order in Council valid under NI law
    – if yes (or untested), required to prorogue
    Placing the existence of the UK Parliament and Government as a matter of UK legislation would I agree have been a sensible thing to do a few centuries ago, of course.

    Also, the English courts decided not that it was legal but that they didn’t in law have jurisdiction over the matter. But there’s lots of things that the English courts don’t have jurisdiction over and the Scottish courts do. It’s *odd* for that to include the UK government, but not irreconcilable.

    I think there would potentially be more of a conflict if the English courts had decided that it was jurisdiciable in England, *but* had decided that on the facts it was legal. And, of course, the Supreme Court could rule that it is jurisdiciable in England and then refer it back to the High Court to rule initially on the facts – in which case had the Scottish judgement been upheld the sensible thing for Remain to do would be to withdraw the English case… (an oddity which the “series of checks” approach doesn’t cause)


    I think Swinson and the LDs generally are in a tough position on this one.

    Labour have staked out a specific second ref position, which is broadly speaking the most Remain possible such position (a softer Brexit than May’s vs Remain) that’s not an obvious joke (Remain vs Remain).

    The Lib Dems can’t set out a more specific second ref position, without it being either the same as Labour’s (bad for them, since Labour got there first) or less Remainy than Labour’s (worse for them). They’re running out of time that they can continue to be vague on their own referendum’s shape (very risky to go into a GE that way) … so the obvious “more Remainy than Labour” stance is to go straight to revoke, but still support a referendum if that’s necessary to get there. As you say, that’s not without its own risks and problems … but on the other hand polling [1] suggests about half of the Remain vote would be perfectly happy with just revoking, and that’s still more VI than the Lib Dems currently have.

    [1] There aren’t many polls which ask both “ref and remain” and “just revoke” as options, but they tend to score about evenly.

  4. @ Oldnat

    I would walk five hundred miles to see the Reclaimers and then happily proclaim them as I sat on Leith Dockyard watching the sunset over the sea :|)

  5. Sorbus,

    “Can anyone offer informed speculation about what might happen in practice if the SC decides the prorogation is illegal under Scottish law and not justiciable under English law?”

    Free Dom…. Dick can stay in Jail!


  6. @ BANTAMS – “The (ab)use of SO24 should be explored”

    I added the “ab” but no need for crowd funding as this will be a case for QC Ivor GE Towin (HMG-attack)
    He might be a very busy chap mid-late Oct as this is only one case with up to 3 start points, appeals, etc[1]

    The main issue is timing and we’re 31Oct – X days (and need X to be as small as possible).

    Also Bercow has totally “dehumanised” the abuse of SO24 as we saw on the final day (ie you can now do multiple same day SO24s with debates and votes on the same day).

    Next up would IMO be multiple laps on the same day (eg run one batch of SO24, then another batch, then another batch.. all same day, debated, voted on, etc). Once you start breaking precedent each subsequent breach seems so minor right?!?

    A bit like catching a criminal (see film Heat) you don’t want to “bust” Bercow for petty theft but the more confident/arrogant he gets then the bigger the “crime” he’ll commit….

    Now since the constitution was never down then he’s been “naughty” but not necessarily anything beyond that (and as Speaker he’s not going to jail – we’ll leave the st00pid stuff for dog whistle Remain folks)

    You have to make a legal case, take it to court, etc to make a “case” when stuff ain’t written down and/or doesn’t have a “precedent” to go on.

    If you want tick down the clock then I hope it is clear you have to wait as long as possible. Also note you

    a/ don’t have to win, you just need to “frustrate” and
    b/ “political” gain is probably more important (eg if your running a “People v Parliament/Elite” campaign then.. well.. that is just the flip-side of what Remain are doing with their dog whistle as it is the electorate vote you want not the court ruling)

    The secondary issue which is probably more important is “bottle” and whether or not Boris is a “T!T” (Theresa In Trousers) or the “Great Leader” that Leave hope he is.

    NB Loads of “hearsay” and IMO in above of course

    PS I’d very much like to see a case of Treason brought against likes of Soubs, Starmer, Cherry, Grieve, Hammond, etc if their is a single shred of possible evidence linking them to drafting and pre-breaking Bill#6 in collusion with a foreign political entity. However, I respect the “risk” of the consequences of that (ie Boris needs to keep likes of Morgan and Hancock). Hence in terms of “political” risk v reward then probably not one for the lawyers – just the press – when the time comes… IF Boris gives the nod (ie has the “bottle”)

    [1] Kudos Remain for showing us th!cko Leavers all routes and roughly how long each route takes – coz we’d never have figured that out in advance without you! ;)

  7. TED

    Ironic that the Lib Dems propose to deny democracy to Brexiters while JC’s bunch of anti-democratic tr0ts will be offering a chance for both leavers and remainers to have their say for a second time.

    The Lib Dems’ position is just an admission that under FPTP the winner takes it all. If an election happens before Brexit then the Tories or BXP certainly wouldn’t need a referendum to force through no deal if they won a majority. Labour’s position has all the democratic gloss of an election in Russia or Syria anyway, as they only intend to offer an option which 90% of leavers would reject as not being Brexit.

    As for vote-winning, all the polls across almost all the companies have been remarkably stable in showing about 45% for leave parties, and 55% for remain parties. There is no game for Swinson in trying to bring voters over from the other side, the numbers who might switch are tiny, what matters is that she doesn’t allow Labour to steal the mantle of remain.

  8. Dunno if this has been mentioned but I get a regular update from Forecast UK.

    I found them to be one of the first to pick up the drop in Tory VI last time and, from originally forecasting a narrow Johnson win [based on a GE on the day of the forecast] they now suggest a hung parliament with him unable to form any government at all.

    Details below:

    Forecast #GE2019 – 12th September 2019
    by Forecast UK – Peter
    This is our latest forecast for a potential November 2019 General Election in the UK.

    The forecast below is our standard forecast. It is based on a General Election occuring on the day of the forecast.

    What does your forecast show? – We try to give as much information as possible, but only where it is statistically significant. We show a 50% confidence interval on the regional vote share for the major parties and the mid-point of the range of likely seat possibilites.

    What do you use for your forecast? – We use all the latest polling data, where available. We also look at the betting markets and other information to help guide our forecast. We calculate the interaction between the support for the parties on as local a level as statistically possible and then use this to run a Monte Carlo simulation of the election.

    What has changed since the last forecast? – New polls from ComRes poll and YouGov have confirmed a clear trend in Conservative and Labour support that we have seen previously but not to a level of statistical significance.

    What do you predict will happen in Seat X? What is the probability of Party Y having more votes than Z? – As we approach the election we reduce uncertainity in our model and are able to answer questions like this. Whilst we do not automatically publish a prediction for each seat, we can indicate a most likely outcome if required and also probabilities of victory for each candidate.

    I want to ask a question / get in touch – Write a comment below to get in touch.

    Key Features
    The overall summary of our forecast is “Hung Parliament – Possible Labour / SNP / Lib Dem coalition”.

    Our forecast has been updated with the introduction of new data indicating a clear movement of support from the Conservatives to Labour over the past week. This movement in support has evaporated any opportunity for the Conservatives to form a Government.

    Although we continue to see evidence of a collapse in the Labour Party’s support across the country, this is now roughly matched by the fall in support for the Conservatives. Outside of London and Wales we see no evidence that the Conservatives will pick up any seats from Labour at all. Indeed, in some seats that Labour won from the Conservatives in 2017, Labour may even increase their majorities.

    As a contrast we expect a resurgent Liberal Democrat party to win half of the seats where they were second to the Conservatives in 2017. In Scotland we expect the SNP to regain almost all their losses in 2017 to Labour and the Conservatives.

    We see good evidence that support for the Brexit Party is slipping away across the country. This may be due to a news cycle that has emphasised parties that are sitting in the Commons. It may also be due to Brexit Party voters moving to the Conservatives.

    Large amounts of polling in the past week has enabled us to firm up our current forecast.

    Our Northern Ireland forecast is based on limited data, primarily a poll from Lucid Point last month.

    UK Forecast
    Party % Vote Forecast Change on 2017
    Conservatives 30.2% (27.4% – 33.0%) 294 – 303 -23 to -14
    Labour 25.0% (22.9% – 27.1%) 237 – 243 -25 to -19
    SNP 3.4% 50 – 51 +15 to +16
    Liberal Democrats 19.3% (18.4% – 20.2%) 34 – 40 +22 to +28
    Brexit Party 14.3% (11.5% – 16.1%) 1 – 2 +1 to +2
    Plaid Cymru 0.4% 2 – 4 -2 to 0
    Green 4.0% (3.5% – 4.5%) 0 -2 -1 to +1
    Independent 0-2
    Speaker 1 –
    Northern Ireland 18
    Most likely result – Hung Parliament
    Potential Labour / SNP / Lib Dem coalition.”

    They also offer regional breakdowns.

    It seems to me that the worse the Tories are doing the more likely Farage will be to want to join the demolition party.

    I think Corbyn will still prove a huge obstacle to a majority Labour government but – as everybody always says – we shall see.


  9. If Labour’s policy on leaving or sating in the EU is to be even close to coherent then, in my view, they need to offer a virtually immediate [ie asap] referendum based on remaining, staying with a very quickly tweaked May deal and – probably, given the obvious level of support.

    First to 50% wins.

    They also should remain neutral as a party, allow their own MPs and cabinet members to campaign freely and, vitally, suggest that other parties should follow that lead, should they so wish.

    That seems the only way that they can remotely justify their own “neutrality” – ie “This issue is beyond party allegiance.”

    Where they are hoist on their own petard at the moment, is in seeming to suggest that they will spend time negotiating a deal they like, with all the time that could take, BEFORE any referendum – that, however well it may be justified, is obviously going to be subject to widespread ridicule.

  10. JIM JAM

    The question is in key LD/Con marginals if full revoke nets more than ref 2 with remain, don’t see getting any extra myself and may lose a few wavering Tories as above.

    Let’s try to picture the voter you’re describing here – this is someone who is on the centre-right, naturally conservative-leaning, but sufficiently anti-Brexit that they would risk a Corbyn government by voting Lib Dem, but not so anti-brexit that they would take that risk to vote for a party which would just revoke A50 rather than have a referendum.

    It just doesn’t make sense. If anything, moving to a position of revoking A50 will atrract more of them over rather than drive them away. Besides which, the Lib Dems have probably already attracted all the well-off centrist europhiles in these seats, what they need to do now is squeeze the Labour vote.

  11. @R&D

    So averaging out the seats:

    Con 299
    Lab 240
    SNP 51
    Lib 37
    Bxp 1
    Green 1
    Ind 2
    Speaker 1
    NI 18

    Short of a Con+Lab national government, there might be Lab+Lib+SNP for a majority of around 12 (allowing for Sinn Fein and speakers not being counted).

    Of course, if half a dozen or more Lab MPs are anti-remain/revoke, then it’s the same old, same old.

    Con minority with C&S on a case by case basis from DUP, less polarised MPs on other parties etc. might be a working solution. The main problem is that Westminster governments are so used to getting working majorities, they see cross-party compromise as an alien thing.

  12. @TED
    “Ironic that the Lib Dems propose to deny democracy to Brexiters while JC’s bunch of anti-democratic tr0ts will be offering a chance for both leavers and remainers to have their say for a second time.”

    Maybe this is not ironic but evidence that LAB are not “JC’s bunch of anti-democratic tr0ts” of Tory tabloid legend?

    Do you have any evidence that LAB’s Leave option in a forthcoming referendum is “an option which 90% of leavers would reject as not being Brexit”? My understanding is that Leavers are split evenly between hard and soft Brexit.

  13. @R&D

    My guess, as a LAB member, is that the party will do exactly what you are describing.

  14. JIM JAM
    TED – you make the point I have being trying to make

    I had intended to quote you and write that to back it up, apologies, it must have fallen off or I was having a brainstorm or something.


    Under FTPT certainly the winner takes all, if Clegg had stood up for his party’s principles rather than grabbing the keys for the big car first and held out for a true form of PR we wouldn’t be where we now are. Unless polling across the entire country settles at something like Cleggmania and then translates into actual votes there is not a hope of them forming a government, particularly since they seem determined to throw away whatever percentage of Tory remainer votes they’ve picked up in the last six months or so as their natural home undergoes desertification.

    I see Letwin is saying there is probably a majority in parliament now for a second referendum. I’ve been anticipating a referendum rather than another election since May threw away the Tories’ majority and it does seem increasingly likely, since all parties – including Farage’s Ltd Co. – think they would benefit from Brexit being disposed of as an issue prior to everything becoming muddied by other issues a la 2017.

    The best Swinson can hope for is probably her conference coverage being subsumed by Johnson and Cummings’ shenanigans and the vacuous noise surrounding it, although I don’t think she has the self-awareness or intelligence to see it.

  15. TonyE

    in case there was any doubt, I was myself being ironic :-)

    I also agree with your agreement with Paul/R&D

  16. @Trevs – “PS I’d very much like to see a case of Treason brought against likes of Soubs, Starmer, Cherry, Grieve, Hammond, etc if their is a single shred of possible evidence linking them to drafting and pre-breaking Bill#6 in collusion with a foreign political entity.”

    Told you off about this before.

    Colluding with “a foreign political entity” is not, and never has been, treason.

    If it were, then being a member of the UN would be treasonable.

    It’s not us that introduced the ‘th!cko leavers’ phrase to the UKPR lexicon. Doh!

    Keep up the joke posts though. They’re very funny.

  17. Toby – is what you me and many others have been suggesting for weeks but uncle Len his wants his negotiation position considered,

    Hopefully Conference will sort and McDonnell’s May deal + will b the manifesto commitment with EU discussions to last no longer than a month to tie up the + bits in the PD.

    I hope the party back remain rather than be neutral but might not get my wish. Am happy with Cabinet members freely being able to advocate the deal though.

  18. @ CIM – LDEM Brexit policy can (and IMO should be).

    Revoke THEN conf.ref

    (and due to the sequencing drop the conf.ref later)

    Joking aside that seems to be the way to grab the Arch-Remain vote and keep the DEM in LDEM, might even “bounce” LAB into following??

    Just IMO and obviously I want to split the Remain vote but Swinson[1] has her own “do or die” decision to make and she knew this way back in July (so has had plenty of time to think it over, no excuses if/when it goes Pete Tong)

    PS She could collude to “kick the can” again and stick with 2nd ref THEN Revoke (as she’s already missed the “window” this time, see JJ and my discussion a few days back).

    IE Get Corbyn in as PM but hold off on the GE (and she’d probably get all xCONs and a lot of LAB to agree with that – even Corbyn if he’s smart enough to push some LAB policies as the “price” for delaying the GE, SNP might play as well but they want to be “kingmakers”). So perhaps let Corbyn take the “hospital pass” and then after 3rd extension has run down make her move then. TBC ;)

    [1] and by implication then LDEM as a party capable of becoming “kingmakers” in a future GE and hence pushing for stuff like PR voting system, etc

  19. OLDNAT

    From a comment page at Conservative Home.

    “Perhaps the haggis munchers were tanked up on Buckfast when they made that ruling.”

    From Citya.m. on 23 January 2019.

    “…Labour MP Yvette Cooper is leading a cross-party move to get it written into law that the UK cannot leave the EU without an agreement….

    …Speaking on Wednesday, Rees-Mogg demanded the government take drastic action to stop any such moves passing into law.

    He said: “If the House of Commons undermines our basic constitutional conventions, then the executive is entitled to use other vestigial constitutional means to stop it, by which I basically mean prorogation [suspending parliament].

    “Prorogation normally lasts for three days, and any law that is in the process before prorogation falls. I think that would be the government’s answer. That is the government’s backstop, to use a choice phrase.”

  20. @TED

    Oops sorry! there are lots of people who actually do have that view!

  21. @JIMJAM

    Yes; I myself can’t see the benefit of coming down on the Remain side; the Leavers are mightily p!ssed off already, and with good reason IMHO. Surely a neutral stance will enable us to start bringing the country together again.

  22. Not straightforward Toby I guess and I can live with either stance (neutral or remain) as long as the ref is quick hence May + v remain works for me

  23. @JIMJAM

    Yes, I agree. Don’t forget, many of us members have been arguing for while that we shouldn’t sign up to a 2nd ref anyway, for democratic reasons. OK, we now accept the decision of the leadership to go with that, but full-on backing Remain would be harder to swallow.

  24. R&D,

    I do think Labour’s position makes sense now. The policy in government is to present the public with a choice by a referendum of a brexit option that is available, and Labour can live with implementing, vs remaining. That means renegotiating the PD, which can apparently be done quickly and easily.

    I agree with you it would make most sense for the official Labour position in the referendum to be to not take sides (the Wilson option) because the party in government will have to be prepared to implement either outcome.

    Of course some people will complain that they don’t like either option in the referendum, but that’s too bad. Winning a general election means Labour get to choose how to govern. That’s how democracy works.

    The Lib Dem position also makes sense. Winning a GE gives them a mandate to cancel brexit if that’s what is in their manifesto. Since as a party they are committed to remaining, it would be odd for them to pledge a referendum in their manifesto – because then in government they would have a 50% chance of having to implement a policy they are dead against.

  25. Councillor, Councillor where have you been?
    I’ve been up to Balmoral to speak to the Queen..
    Councillor, Councillor, what did you there?
    I planted an I.E.D. under her chair.

  26. Councillor, Councillor where have you been?
    I’ve been up to Balmoral to speak to the Queen..
    Councillor, Councillor, what did you there?
    I planted an I.E.D. under her chair.

  27. TED

    Do you have any evidence that LAB’s Leave option in a forthcoming referendum is “an option which 90% of leavers would reject as not being Brexit”? My understanding is that Leavers are split evenly between hard and soft Brexit.

    Page 4:

    Of the outcomes that you thought were still realistically possible, which would be your preference, or would you rather none of them happened?

    A ‘softer’ Brexit deal being agreed where Britain leaves the EU but remains in the Single Market and/or Customs Union

    Leave voters – 9%

    Not that it does much better among remainers, they only give it 14%. Still, more than May’s deal which scores a paltry 2% among leavers. Some 72% of them want no deal or whatever deal BoJo is cooking up. If parliament manages to cook up a referendum which doesn’t include a credible Brexit option (ie – one that leavers can support) then it’s a given that the Tories/BXP would be campaigning in the next election on the basis of rejecting a rigged vote.

  28. GARJ
    think that was for TobyE?

    I think I’d struggle to understand what any leavers think realistically possible

  29. Acceptable is different from a preference out of a list of 4 options.

  30. One of the slogans deployed by No campaigners from England in 2014 was “Don’t leave us – lead us”.

    Ever helpful, that’s just what we’re doing.

    First the Inner House ruled that the current prorogation was illegal : now their Lordships are being invited to step in if Johnson refuses to comply with the Benn Act, and request an extension to A50 under the specific circumstances required.

    English lawyers may be interested in a unique power that the Inner House has – nobile officium.

    which “the extraordinary equitable jurisdiction of the Court of Session and the High Court of Justiciary. It is a power of the court to give a remedy in two situations. First, where there is no legal rule adequately covering a given situation. Secondly, where there is a legal rule governing a situation, but its application would be unduly excessive, oppressive or burdensome. The court can use the nobile officium to grant any remedy or make any order.”

    People have asked on here “who could send the letter if Johnson doesn’t?”

    One answer is their Lordships of the Inner House of the Court of Session.

  31. My favourite Tweet of the day so far:

    “Valleyboy79 @GamerValleyboy 2 hours ago

    #Corbyn wears wrong coat, Press meltdown for days,
    #Tory PM lies to Queen, Press response “Meh”

    Says it all really. Who cares about law, parliament, lives etc, when your[1] media is onside.

    [1] i.e. the media you tend to rely on to get elected

  32. The judgment of the Inner House in the prorogation case has been published a little more rapidly than expected.

  33. TED

    think that was for TobyE?

    Oop, my mistake, apologies.

  34. JimJam

    Not very often that I’d agree with GARJ ahead of you on a Labour tactical issue but I think he’s spot on there. How can actually being for Remain cost you remain votes?

    I’ve always said that it’s the cynical triangulation of ALL the so-called Remain parties, which they get away with thanks to a friendly press, that puts me off switching. If there was a credible party that was actually for Remain and not just Ref2 …

    More power to their elbow. It could be the game changer.

  35. OLDNAT

    Thanks, interest. It has always been my concern that as English Law put mandatory orders and follow up remedies on a statutory footing in one of the overdone (imho) 90s civil procedure reforms it might have made obsolete some common law flexibility that might have been useful here.

    It’s why I’m a sceptic on some of the more creative solutions offered. They’re not in the statute. (Or the right statue, someone suggested using the Matrimonial Causes Act the other day)

    It appears Scotland might not have made the same mistake. Perhaps as NewLabour overlooked it. Modernising isn’t always the answer.

  36. JimJam and others.

    I should add that I don’t think Labour can take a Remain position for all the reasons you articulate. But that’s another reason why the LibDems should consider doing so.

  37. @R&D

    For comparison, Sporting Index have opened their spread betting markets on seats (sell-buy):

    Con 302-310
    Lab 218-226
    SNP 45-49
    LD 39-43
    Plaid 3.5-4.5
    BXP 3-5
    Grn 2-2.5
    UKIP 0.5-1.5

    +18 NI seats

    So quite similar, although the betting market is less optimistic about Labour.

  38. Peter W,

    2 issues:

    Will being straight revoke dissuade some soft leave Tory voters from voting LDs in Tory/LD marginals.

    Maybe not but we don’t know and a few hundred votes in some seats will make the difference.

    More significantly, If LD being straight revoke takes votes off Labour in Lab/Tory marginals the chance of a Tory Government increases.

  39. @oldnat

    Re the new Court of Session case, it also seems the Dom hadn’t realised that in Scots law it is possible to bring an action in anticipation of Johnson disobeying the law.

  40. @sam

    Re the Hootsman, it is clearly the end of days!

  41. Statgeek

    Belated “yes” to your last two posts.

  42. oldnat: The judgment of the Inner House in the prorogation case has been published a little more rapidly than expected.

    Thanks for this ON. A heavy read – 68 pages with the individual opinions of each of the 3 Judges as a full judgement.

    On reading this, a thought struck me about how the Supreme Court could go about making a ruling which does not throw Scottish and English Law into conflict.

    If there is any wriggle room in the High Court Judgement that there may be circumstances in which they could intervene in a prorogation if it were to result in significant interruption to the ability of Parliament to scrutinise the executive, the Judgement becomes one of a matter of degree as to how serious the abuse of the Prerogative is.

    If that avenue is open, then it becomes possible to reconcile English and Scottish Law by defining a bench mark of the limits to which the Prerogative may be abused before the matter becomes justiciable.

    On a scan of the High Court ruling, there does not seem to be much scope for this approach, in that it seems to say that the matter is not justiciable rather than it has not reached a level at which it becomes justiciable. However, I am not sure that it is totally watertight and it does not appear to say ‘Never’ – and it does mention the practical effect of the prorogation to be only a few days more than the anticipated Conference recess.

    So if the SC were to rule that there is a threshold at which abuse of the prerogative is justiciable, they could set the threshold more or less where they want, unify Scots and English Law and end up with the ability to call it either way.

  43. 1,177 days since the referendum
    489 days since police involvement
    315 days since NCA involvement
    121 days since decision imminent
    5 DCs investigating
    1 DS investigating
    1 DI investigating
    1 DCI investigating

    Tweet by “Brexitshambles” today. Some way to go to reach the standards of the PSNI and UK government in its abilities to investigate state murders.

  44. PETERW

    Thank you. The Lib Dem position just seems much more intellectually coherent and has the added benefit of being very easy to understand.


    More significantly, If LD being straight revoke takes votes off Labour in Lab/Tory marginals the chance of a Tory Government increases.

    Perhaps it does, but you’re making the classic Labour mistake of thinking that the only purpose of the Lib Dems is to help Labour keep the Tories out. Their real goal is to take over as one of the two parties of government, and the most likely way for them to do that is by replacing Labour as the main party of the centre left. It depends which polls you believe, but in some of them they’re within a few percentage points. In order to have any chance of doing so though they will need to have messages wich will differentiate them from Labour, and get them press. If they don’t and the election becomes a straight race between Con and Lab then they’ll be crushed.

  45. Rosieanddaisie,
    “Dunno if this has been mentioned but I get a regular update from Forecast UK.”

    I notice they note the possible start of a reversel of fortunes between lab and con. People who have been reading my posts might have seen my own forecast (daring huh?) that this maybe-not election was likely to follow the same pattern as the last one.

    I have argued in the past that the signs were also there in 2017 for those more clued up than me, that con were likely to come out of it worse than before. And therefore, that holding the election was done in the knowledge it could well turn out as it did, and that this was considered a better situation than having the previous larger majority. Better to know the bad news about the real level of support for brexit.

    But this time many like me must understand the likelihood that the temporary con lead would disappear during a campaign. BJ has set up an expectation amongst leavers of rapid and successful implementation of brexit, and if it just doesnt happen, his career would become a much speeded up repeat of May’s. Labour have thrown a spanner into the election timetable, and while no election is taking place, the decline of con vote share is still moving to timetable.

    The risk for con is that by the time an election might actually take place, con would be clearly lagging and holding an election obvious suicide. Which is not a tenable plan for making Brexit happen and keeping leavers happy.

    If he is now trying to mend relationships with the tory rebels, that again suggests he thinks so too. Election could be off.

  46. @ JP – :-) :-)

    It’s certainly seems more a case of WHEN than IF for Brenda being dragged in to this mess. Probably mid 20s Oct IMHO but TBC of course (it might be sooner)

    @ LL – thanks, I hadn’t spotted that.

    I’d buy BXP, very limited downside and if Boris “bottles it” then lots of upside.
    It’s tempting to buy SNP but if you model it up then the risk/reward isn’t great (basically the flip of BXP – limited upside (max=59) and a lot of downside.
    The other ones seems reasonable at this stage.

    @ JJ – Soz. I thought you’d asked about MP numbers (as that will come first). GARJ commented on the VI and in your 6:30pm

    “Will being straight revoke dissuade some soft leave Tory voters from voting LDs in Tory/LD marginals”

    Well as you point out that could make quite a bit of difference in some marginals. With start point of some CON-R that moved to LDEM in either GE’17 or since then some would probably drift back to CON if LDEM went straight Revoke (and didn’t bother with the “fig leaf” of Final Say ref)

    It will obviously depend on the circumstances with below all helping LDEM pick up xCON votes:

    1/ EC-EU27 eventually force us to pick between Revoke and No Deal (and its LDEM=Revoke and CON=No Deal)

    2/ If Boris does a pact with Farage (and CON is seen to be drawn more FRoC)

    3/ Seat specific issues (eg Wollaston, Allen, etc popular locally and other Remain parties agree on them as single “Remain” candidate – worked well in B+R)

    4/ Manifestos. (eg whether or not some CON-R / CON-SL see Boris+Javid as ripping up the fiscal rules and accept LDEM is effectively the “sensible” LW side of CON maintaining fiscal responsibility, etc)

    5/ Real World stuff (eg if we do enter a recession, major job losses, etc). Sickening that it is then Remain have an interest to drag the uncertainty along as uncertainty is a major drag on the economy.

    Some of those points won’t be picked up in UNS or until they occur of course. Timing and sequencing is v.important and some big “events” coming up soon.

  47. Tobyebert,
    “Surely a neutral stance will enable us to start bringing the country together again.”

    Or just annoy both sides.

    ” If parliament manages to cook up a referendum which doesn’t include a credible Brexit option.. ”

    Indeed. There is a problem in proposing a compromise soft brexit, that remainers think it better to just remain, while leavers do not accept it as leaving.

    The situation we are in now is the result of a realisation there is no compromise brexit which can deliver what leave believe in. (although I also think there is no hard brexit which can do that either, and BJs task right now is to prove it.)

  48. @ JJ – I should also add that LDEM will need to rule out any kind of “pact” with LAB (some grassroots stuff might happen locally ala GE’17 but certainly no HQ pact)

    They’ll have a “trust” issue from the legacy of the coalition years that was irrelevant in EPs and by-elections but would be a factor in a GE

    This would be part of “manifestos” in previous post and TV interviews, debates, etc.

    I’m not going to speak for LDEM on manifesto policies and I’m respectful of you’re LAB VI but clearly a lot of CON-R / SL would consider PM Corbyn as WORSE than “No Deal”

    IIRC YG had a recent poll on the last point.

    @ ALEC – Still unable to read or understand my posts I see, notably the “political” aspects of legal cases if your blowing the dog whistle.

    Anyway, you do make an excellent point:

    “Told you off about this”

    We’ll be relying on that kind of “liberal elite” arrogance in the GE.

    Along with “Leavers were to th!ck to know what they voted for” then in a “People v Elite” GE then you’re clearly casting yourself in the role of the FEW and allowing VoteLeave1b to take the MANY

    Thanks in advance ;)

  49. The Guardian:

    The three Scottish appeal judges who ruled Boris Johnson had unlawfully prorogued parliament have bluntly accused the prime minister of misleading voters and the Queen on his true reasons for suspending parliament.

    They agree unanimously it was to prevent proper scrutiny of his Brexit strategy – and for no other reason – in their official rulings issued by the Scottish courts late on Thursday afternoon.

    Lord Carloway, the Lord President, said prorogation was sought “in a clandestine manner” when Downing Street knew 75 MPs and peers were taking the government to court to block it.

    No 10 also did this knowing prorogation would stymie debate about Johnson’s Brexit plans and then gave the court no clear reason to justify prorogation, as well as the five-week period Johnson got from the Queen, which they described as an “extraordinary length of time”. Carloway said:

    The circumstances demonstrate that the true reason for the prorogation is to reduce the time available for parliamentary scrutiny of Brexit at a time when such scrutiny would appear to be a matter of considerable importance, given the issues at stake.

    [Put] shortly, prorogation was being mooted specifically as a means to stymie any further legislation regulating Brexit.

    Lord Drummond Young is particularly blunt, arguing that the UK government’s failure to provide the Scottish court with any valid reasons for proroguing Westminster for five weeks supported their conclusions it was unjustified.

    If no reason is given, in the present circumstances, I am of opinion that the decision to prorogue parliament for five weeks out of the seven remaining before the United Kingdom is scheduled to leave the European Union leads inevitably to the conclusion that the reason for prorogation was to prevent parliamentary scrutiny of the government. I find it impossible to see that it could serve any other rational purpose.

    Lord Brodie, the third judge, said that, despite the weight courts need to give to the royal prerogative and a government’s right to use procedures to suit its purposes, this was an “egregious” case of misuse of prorogation.

    Procedural manoeuvres are the stuff of politics, whether conducted in parliament or in lesser bodies. However, when the manoeuvre is quite so blatantly designed ‘to frustrate parliament’ at such a critical juncture in the history of the United Kingdom, I consider that the court may legitimately find it to be unlawful.

  50. GARJ

    “The Lib Dem position just seems much more intellectually coherent and has the added benefit of being very easy to understand.”

    Don’t think it’s the LibDem position yet. They’re flying a kite while still officially advocating a Ref2 fudge. But I think it’s the right one for them.

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