The position in the polls remains much the same as the last time I updated – the Conservatives still have a substantial lead, though one that varies from pollster to pollster due to methodological differences. The figures also remain somewhat artificial given we know that a major event with the potential to transform the political weather (either Brexit going ahead, or Brexit being delayed) is looming upon the horizon. Perhaps the more interesting question is, therefore, what impact is that likely to have on the polls? Or perhaps more to the point, can polls tell us *anything* useful about what impact it would have on the polls?

Most of the polling that has set foot in this rather difficult territory has attempted to shed some light on what will happen if Boris Johnson ends up seeking a delay to Brexit.

Several polls have asked who people would blame if Brexit ended up being delayed, and as a rule they’ve tended to show that people wouldn’t blame Boris Johnson or, at least, that he would not be widely blamed by Conservative supporters or Brexiteers – the voters he needs to keep hold of. YouGov found 39% of people think a delay would be Boris Johnson’s fault to a large or moderate extent, 46% think it would bear little or none of the fault. Among Leave voters only 18% thought Johnson would bear significant blame. A ComRes poll found 34% think Johnson would bear much responsibility for a delay, 33% some responsibility and 22% no responsibility at all. Among leave voters only 19% thought he would bear much responsibility, 35% some, 37% none.

However, polls that have asked how people would vote if there was an election after a further delay to Brexit have invariably shown the Conservative party losing support and the Brexit party gaining it (for example, this ComRes poll from last month). A naive reading of that might be these two approaches are contradictory (the ones asking about blame suggest most people wouldn’t blame Boris, the ones asking hypothetical voting intention imply he would pay a heavy cost) – in reality they don’t. Even if most of his supporters wouldn’t blame Boris Johnson for an extension, if 1 in 5 Tories voters blamed him enough to defect to the Brexit party it severely damage the Conservatives’ electoral hopes.

I would urge some degree of caution on both these approaches though. We are asking people to imagine a rather vague hypothetical situation. A delay in Brexit could cover all sorts of different scenarios. Maybe Boris Johnson will apply for an extension, maybe he’ll resign and someone else will. Maybe he’d have done it willingly, maybe he’d have been forced into it by the Courts. More recently it’s been floated that he could even end up seeking an technical extension in order to deliver a deal. People’s reactions may be extremely different depending on the different circumstances. For now these uncertainties should put a question mark over any polls asking hypothetical questions about how the public think they would react to a delay – if political circumstances become clearer in the next week then perhaps, just perhaps, we’ll be in a better position to do useful polling on the issue.

In the meantime we are left to speculate. The questions I ask myself when trying to predict what the impact on public opinion are these. Can I imagine Boris Johnson seeking an extension and it NOT damaging him? Well, in certain circumstances I suppose I can, yes. On the other hand, can I imagine Boris Johnson having to seek an extension and it NOT giving Nigel Farage a boost?

1,843 Responses to “How much damage would a delay do to Boris Johnson?”

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  1. Senior journalists at the Irish Times are cautiously optimistic.

    “It is understood negotiations centre on a measure that is broadly similar to the previous backstop that only applied to Northern Ireland, which saw a customs border in the Irish Sea, although it would effectively be rebranded. Consent in Northern Ireland for any solution agreed is the other major element. However, DUP leader Arlene Foster said comparisons with the previous backstop are “very far off the mark”.

    It is expected the deal will be sweetened for the DUP with a multimillion-euro package of investment funded by the EU, London and Dublin…..

    ….Ms Foster said any deal must respect the “constitutional and economic place of Northern Ireland within the United Kingdom. but it is important that we do work together to get a deal”.

    A DUP statement after Ms Foster and Nigel Dodds, her deputy leader, met Mr Johnson last night said “gaps remain and further work is required”.”

  2. @PeteB

    “Not for the first time ON has outfoxed both of us. Up the Villa!”


    Well, he could have replaced Rutland with Mercia, so we should be thankful for small mercies. I’m afraid I can’t support the Villa. PUSB!!

  3. As to a further extension the current extension is conditional on there being no negotiations of the WA during it. Both the EU and UK have accepted the terms.

  4. Ms de Souza and her husband have had a setback – but probably a temporary setback. This could be an important case.

    “On Monday an immigration tribunal sided with the UK Home Office in an appeal on the earlier ruling. She plans to appeal the ruling to the Court of Appeal and, if required, to the Supreme Court.

    Ms DeSouza has accused the British government of failing to comply with the Belfast Agreement by failing to legislate for the peace treaty in domestic UK law over the past two decades and to protect the birthright of people in Northern Ireland to be Irish.

    She lost her case on the basis of a 1981 UK nationality law.

    Taoiseach Leo Varadkar backed her case. He told the Dáil that he believed British citizenship laws are “out of step” with the 1998 accord “making a distinction between how people identify as to their citizenship”.”

  5. @Paul

    “haven’t been around for a couple of days but wanted to say thanks for your summing up and let you know that I have decided to go for the ipad air.
    May well be back with further questions once I have the little rascal.


    Thanks for letting me know, I was wondering if you’d seen my post. I thought I ought to mention, you might want to consider getting a case or at least a sleeve, some form of protection for it.

    You can get rubbery cases with raised edges to help protect the screen…

    Or cases with integrated covers that can fold to form a stand.

    Cases can be a bit awkward, the more protection they provide, the harder it can be to remove them, or to access the ports/connectors etc., but I have found even cheaper cases can provide some protection. (You can get screen protectors too, though can be a bit awkward to apply)

    Make sure you get the right size/colour.

  6. Robert peston – “Downing St AGAIN downbeat there will be real. Government source telling me: “Chances of a deal are low. DUP seem unlikely to support anything that’s negotiable”. This follows the meeting with DUP last night. To be clear, as I said last night, this could be final…”

    As expected, the battle is within the UK, not between the UK and the EU.

    Johnson knows that he must get a deal and that no deal would end the Conservative party grip on power, but the DUP need to be aligned with what is decided due to the need to secure a majority.

    There is talk of a huge cash bung for NI (DUP demanding “billions not millions” according to No 10) but if Peston is correct, even that isn’t enough.

    Even if they do persuade the DUP, how will that leave Scotland? It’s grubby politics at it’s very worst.

  7. Sam,
    “As to a further extension the current extension is conditional on there being no negotiations of the WA during it. Both the EU and UK have accepted the terms.”

    That would be an example of the difference between a political declaration and a withdrawal agreement.

    “And why (exactly) do you think that will happen?”

    Well since you ask, in the first place because so do independent assessors and the government. They all predict no deal means immediate chaos. Didn’t the government estimate predict trade slashed to 60% at six months after brexit? The reasoning for this seems to be that transport services will fail to cope with Brexit delays, and that is why the government is hiring extra ferries.

    On the face of it, extra ferries seems pointless, because the current ferry capacity is perfectly adequate. Clearly what they are worried about is the existing ferries will be delayed one way or another and so because each journey is taking longer, they will make fewer in total. Same problem with the lorries.

    Then of course, individual companies (or private individuals) trading with the continent, will suddenly find they cannot any more. What about the paperwork for private motorists travelling to and from the EU in their own cars, I presume thet will now need paperwork for their wine and ciggies. Maybe this is what they are worried about jamming up the ferries.

    Then there is the knock on cut in trade due to new regimes, which will simply make it non viable.

    That though is the bit dealt with in published predictions. What these do not include, or justify why they do not include, is major companies ceasing to regard the UK as a sensible place to base their business. Every leaver who says they will change the tax rules to encourgae companies to come to Britain is admitting that Brexit will make the UK less attractive as a base for industry.

    Over the last 50 years the news has featured stories of company X coming to the UK because its a good entry point to the EU market. London has grown as a financial sector through US banks wanting a European base, and this being the obvious one. It wont be any more. Companies will leave the UK. It has already started.

    Brexit creates no new reason to base any industry in the UK. There is nothing to replace the pull of being an access point to the EU.

    Future trade deals with the EU and ROW will be less advantageous to the Uk than currently. All of them.

    General confidence in the UK will be less, making the financial situation more difficult for anyone with debt, which is most of us. And for the government, of course, which has even scheduled an emergency budget for post Brexit.

    Oh, and the UKs ability to influence outside parties to change international rules to our advantage will be lessened. The obvious case is the EU, which will begin to legislate to disadvantage London as a financial centre and UK industry in general. But the knock on of of ceasing to have influence with the EU will mean we have less influence with anyone else who in the past wanted UK help with an EU related matter.

    There will be a labour crisis, which is already becoming apparent. Probably not so much because we are changing the rules to prevent people we actually need coming here (though this has already happened), but because they no longer want to come here, it now being a less attractive place. NHS is heading for a very public staff shortage which is going to upset voters a lot. But this has to affect the private sector also.

    Incidentally, do not portray action by the EU against the Uk as punishment or revenge. The EU exists to expressly benefit its members as opposed to non members, and that is exactly what it would have done to help us as a member, or to help Ireland, France or anyone else to get some advanatage over us if we leave.

    The funding crisis caused by brexit, extra expenditure on that and falling revenue, will come on top of the existing growing crises in government services because of the austerity program which the conservatives have followed for the last nine years. The one deliberately aiming to shrink the size of the state sector. There are crises in care services, education, student loans, heck the people whose job is to check safety of dams. All of these will be not getting money to resolve these problems and the public will blame the conservatives for this if still in power.

  8. David Davis rowing back on everything too. He tells Sky News “remember – the Spartans lost”.

    There really is a sense now that the hard liners have realised that their game is up and they are desperate to get a deal. All that testosterone fueled ‘no deal’ claptrap was just a pile of bullsh!te and they knew it. Their greatest problem now is the need to get the DUP onside, otherwise they will look very silly.

  9. Always good to start the day with Mark McGowan:

  10. On a different tack, yesterday I happened to hear a snippet of news about a local school. A friend of a friend is working as a supply teacher and just started there. On going into the staff room asked others there how long they had worked at the school. Answers included, ‘oh, a couple of days’, and ‘managed a week so far’. The class this person was teaching had had 8 teachers this year. The entire subject faculty was ‘off sick’.

    I mentioned visiting Scotland this summer, and it seems they too are keen to attract teachers. The private sector is not immune, and is stuffed with teachers who could no longer stand working in the state sector. But comparing the anecdotal evidence coming my way from both, its like comparing a police raid with the Normandy landings.

    I cant say if the quality of staff has fallen away, they are overworked and burn out, its inadequate funding, or the environment in schools which gives many more rights to children makes maintaining discipline much harder, but the state schooling system is significantly failing.

    In such a situation I cant help thinking any sort of plan to abolish private schools is a terrible vote loser. If you intend to spend 6 billion on education, better to spend it on the education of those currently in the state system, rather than compelling a whole load more to use state resources.

  11. There was a discussion on the last thread about the desirability of voter ID and the avoidance of personation, personally I believe this study to show there is a far greater and insidious threat to our democracy:

  12. Another day, another doppelgänger!

    From the Arch-Remain Independent:

    “Getting Brexit done? It’s already cost UK economy almost £70bn, new report says”

    Source info is Centre for European Reform (bias radar on!!)

    Note the “new” back-fitted “Frankenstein” proxy for UK is:

    Germany (32%)
    US (28%)
    Australia (17%)
    Iceland (9%)
    Greece (6%)
    Luxembourg and New Zealand (4% each)

    CER’s previous Frankenstein 2018 model (as used by IFS (footnote 18), was projected forward as the IFS clearly show graphs up to and including 2Q19 – not that everyone spotted that or the word “NOW” in the conclusion to their report (final para, final page)

    US (24%)
    Hungary (23%)
    Japan (20%)
    Canada (16%)
    rest made up of smaller countries that they don’t mention

    If you go onto their website you’ll see they frequently change the weightings and hence they make a total mockery of their own approach.

    Back-testing to create a “frankenstein”, synthetic proxy, doppelganger (whatever you call it) model is an extremely flawed approach to begin with[1] but by tweaking the %s as and when you see fit totally discredits an already flawed approach.

    PS As I’ll repeat yet again, I totally accept that the uncertainty caused by dragging out Leaving process has been a drag on the economy (IF report has a lengthy section on “uncertainty” and its impact on business investment). With UK trend growth (at full capacity) of 1.9% versus actual 1.4% then 0.5% per year is more realistic IMO as growing any faster than that would have required BoE (and possibly HMG) to “cool” the economy.

    [1] For Real World examples see the financial crash, Long-Term Capital Management (LTCM) blow-up, most emerging market currency collapses (speculative foreign investment through to resulting IMF intervention) and other economic disasters based on “data mining” (analysis) disconnected from reality.

  13. To get the DUP onside it seems more money needs to be sent to Northern Ireland. The issue for the DUP is that they could vote for the agreement and find that Johnson could not deliver on his promise, with the Budget being voted down, finding that they have voted for the deal but receive no additional money.

  14. @ SAM – “As to a further extension the current extension is conditional on there being no negotiations of the WA during it. Both the EU and UK accepted the terms”

    Indeed, arguably that was even legally binding (although who is going to contest that in a court?)

    Anyway, you see how easy it is for EC-EU27 to ignore stuff and make it up as they go (as and when it suits them) – perhaps a shock to Remainers but not a surprise to those that witnessed the slaughtering of the PIIGS when the Euro sovereign debt crisis risked the “Project”‘s survival.

    TBC what this new deal is but unless the WA has been materially changed then it ain’t going to pass HoC.

    It might just be “lipstick on a pig” and that MIGHT just squeak through on back of LAB MPs who want this over with (and bung2.0 for DUP) but Barnier, like DD and all the “No WA” folks on UK side are negotiators – so they’ll say whatever helps them get the best deal they can and compromise (go back on their promises, words, etc) if when they have to.

    It’s amazing how many folks on UKPR are so totally detached from the Real World that they have no idea how negotiations work (turns out DD was right about the 1min to midnight stuff tho).

    I can understand the “political spin” of ABC politicians needing to say it’s a bad deal and UK capitulated, etc but let’s have a People’s Vote (GE) and let the People decide who they want to run the country.

    PS I’d prefer to leave with No WA at this point but provided GB keeps its red lines of leaving CU and SM then that’ll do. Let’s get it done and move on.

  15. Alec,
    “David Davis rowing back on everything too. He tells Sky News “remember – the Spartans lost”.

    Well we shall see. Fundamentally though nothing has changed since May presented a deal to parliament. The news sounds as though any deal is simply the May deal #1, before the DUP scuppered it.

    The greatest likelihood I see is that come saturday BJ will announce there are ongoing negotiations which are still secret so he cannot give the details, but he accepts the need for what some conservative this morning on R4 called a ‘technical extension’ of the deadline.

    Er, can kicking continues.

  16. When DKs are excluded, 54% support Leave and 46% support Remain (ComRes poll of 26,000 GB adults for Jeremy Vine live debate on Channel 5 tonight)

    (via ComRes)

  17. @Oldnat,
    yes but the leave vote is split among many different options, so for example leave on no deal has only 22% support

  18. @ Old Nat

    That’s a bit of a myth breaker! Where did you see or hear that one?

  19. Bantams

    It’s a tweet from Andrew Hawkins of ComRes

  20. Found it on Comres!

    ITN Brexit Referendum Poll October 2019
    Biggest Poll on Brexit since referendum

    26,000 adults surveyed by ComRes across the UK

    Results shows more than half (54%) of British public support the UK abiding by the referendum result and leaving the EU, regardless of the way they voted in the 2016 Referendum.

    More people’s preferred outcome is now for the UK to leave the European Union (50% v 42% remain).

    However, when the “don’t knows” (of those expressing an opinion) are excluded, over half say their preferred outcome is for the UK to leave the EU (54%) compared to less than half who say their preferred outcome is for the UK to remain in the EU (46%)

    But more people think a no deal is bad for the UK than good.

    Big Brexit divides across age groups and also Scotland, London and Northern Ireland out of kilter with the rest of the UK

    Poll commissioned for Live Brexit Referendum: Do We Want No Deal? (Channel 5, Wednesday 16 October at 9pm)

  21. @oldnat

    Correction my link refers to Kantar, but I suspect the same issues will apply

  22. As usual remain in the EU has the single largest level of support at 42%, followed by leave with a deal at 30% with a leave with no deal trailing behind at 20%

  23. “That’s a bit of a myth breaker!”

    No it isn’t, just a different polling question – and one clearly worded in such a way to elicit support for ‘support’ by linking the response to ‘respecting’ the 2016 referendum.

    Standard Remain/Leave polls continue to show around 53:47 support for Remaining.

  24. @ NeilJ

    Leave with a deal @ 30% and Leave without a deal @ 20% still adds up to 50% who want to leave by some method. With the 42% remain there’s no question, it’s just remain! If you asked them if they want to remain but with big changes to unspecified EU rules or with no changes that 42% would inevitably split. Maybe a question of some sort just for remainers as to their opinion of the EU would be give some useful data as there are bound to be borderline remainers as there are borderline leavers.

  25. Polling 26,000 seems utterly pointless when ComRes lists geographic crossbreaks (and comments on them) unless the samples are internally weighted.

    eg the smallest sample is NI at 718. Smallest English region is the NE at 1096. Scotland has 2204. Wales has 1249.

    Yet ComRes just say “Data were weighted to be demographically representative of all GB adults”, so no sign of having done anything sensible!

  26. Rough “Boris Deal” HoC maths with breakdown of key factions

    Start point MV3 (May lost by 58, so we need 29 to “noes” to move to “aye”)

    Boris needs MOST (not necessarily all of that following), in rough likelihood order:

    DUP (10+Hoey = 11): pivotal group as Spartans will use them as fig leaf
    CON Spartans1 (18): prepared to back Boris, win a GE and then fix any PD “issues” later
    LAB Get it done1 (10?): half-ish of the 19+ that just want a deal so we can move on and prepared to back whip (either due to “retiring” or “pre-selected” for next GE)

    Sub-total “Probable ayes”: 39

    Adding in the less likely “noe-aye” switchers (ie possibles):

    CON Spartans2 (10): die hard nvtters that will never surrender (unless they have to!)
    LAB Get it Done2 (5+?): less sure on the motivations of LAB MPs but plenty of lists going around suggest a second layer MIGHT back a deal

    Sub-total: 39 + 15 = 54 (Max IMO)

    However, we might see some moving the other way, “probables”:

    xCON Arch-Remain (10?): Likes of Grieve, Bebb, etc (and Gyimah who is now LDEM)
    Inds (2): xDLEM Lloyd, Lady Hermon

    Sub-total “probable noes”: 12

    I’ve left out the following factions as i reckon they’ll probably back Boris.

    xCON Soft-Dealers (12?): Likes of Soames, Brine, even possibly Boles (I hope not)

    “Probable Ayes”(39) – “Probable Noes”(12) = 27 = Boris loses by 4

    So TIGHT is the word to use for sure and within each group a lot of “marginals” that could easily be allocated incorrectly. Also of course don’t forget the possibility of “abstain” and 2 for 1 on that (ie if all 28 Spartans abstain that is effectively the same as 14 backing Boris, similar for LAB of course)

    @ JJ – Any input on the LAB side of things? I’m basing above on the list of “19”, prior voting and comments and your previous input.

  27. “back whip” should be “break whip” in above.

  28. @Trevors – “If you go onto their website you’ll see they frequently change the weightings and hence they make a total mockery of their own approach.

    Back-testing to create a “frankenstein”, synthetic proxy, doppelganger (whatever you call it) model is an extremely flawed approach to begin with[1] but by tweaking the %s as and when you see fit totally discredits an already flawed approach.”

    Did you ever pause for a moment to ponder why these approaches might periodically alter the weightings percentages?

    I mean, do you think that economies never alter in relative size or compatibility, or is this a sign that you haven’t fully understood how these assessments are constructed?

    The idea of periodic changing of the weightings based on real world data is actually a sign that the models are probably more, not less accurate. There is no valid reason why dynamic adjustment of weightings (and the basket comparitor economies selected too) should be seen as a weakness. The adjustments to real world data are the very reason why these models are rather good – in the right circumstances.

    I’m very surprised that someone of your experience should fail to appreciate that, and it does tend to suggest that you aren’t fully understanding of the process.

    “CER’s previous Frankenstein 2018 model (as used by IFS (footnote 18), was projected forward as the IFS clearly show graphs up to and including 2Q19”

    Not sure what you are saying here, but I posted on the last thread about the time period. It isn’t clear from all your posts, but you seem to think that the higher UK quarterly GDP figures from 2019 somehow makes up for the comparative losses in 2016 – 2018, and from this you conclude that the IFS analysis is wrong.

    It isn’t, because a period of lower growth means GDP is smaller, even if the rate of growth subsequently picks up again. By 2019 we were getting a slightly better % quarterly growth rate of a significantly smaller starting volume, thus the IFS analysis is not contradicted by the recent GDP data.

  29. Interesting reading the CER analysis of lost government revenue arising from the referendum vote. They say –

    “The analysis found that 1 per cent of lost GDP growth resulted in £11 billion of extra borrowing. Since we have found that the cost so far is 2.1 per cent, that adds up to £23 billion additional borrowing so far.”

    When I worked out the approximate hit to government revenues from any Brexit impact on UK GDP is used a simplistic straight line percentage of 35%, so a £100bn loss of GDP would result in a £35bn loss of government revenue, basing this on an approximation of the proportion of GDP taken in tax receipts.

    I was heavily criticised by some on here for the approach I took, but interestingly the CER calculation done in a more details manner, comes out at 38% of the GDP loss, so not far away.

  30. @ MATT126 – DUP Bung2.0 has been rumoured for some time and now we’ve had the Queen’s Speech it is certainly coming soon[1]

    I’ve gone through it on UKPR a few times before. If you want to go through the whole “wish list” then read between the lines on anything “Westminster approval required”[2] and “money” related in below list of policies:

    Basically they want lower taxes AND more spending than rUK (and they already have lower taxes and more spending than rUK, roughly at a cost of 10bn/year to rUK taxpayers)

    Rumour is 2x Bung1.0 (although some unknowns over the time period over with the Bung is paid out)

    [1] Unless of course we have a GE beforehand! Bit of a chicken+egg issue for DUP.

    [2] Since Stormont isn’t open then basically everything is currently “Westminster approval required”

  31. @ The Trevors

    Some reporting bung 2 won’t just come from 11 Downing St but also from the EU & Dublin making it a multibillion “investment.”

  32. @Bantams – “That’s a bit of a myth breaker! Where did you see or hear that one?”

    Possibly, but maybe not the myth you are assuming.

    It isn’t surprising that a bare majority of the public feel we should abide by a referendum decision. That isn’t the same as backing leave. It also doesn’t necessarily mean that if we get another chance to vote that leaving would win.

  33. ComRes poll – nothing new

    We’ve see Opinium, Survation, possibly others with same kind of thing many times.

    The issue has always been Remainers latching on to the “hypothetical” polling of how folks would vote in a 2nd ref (or how they would vote in hindsight on the original ref)

    Since MPs haven’t legislated for a 2nd ref (failed twice in the IVs) then the difference in the polling is due to a group (mostly Remainers) who respect that 1st ref needs to be honoured BUT who would vote Remain IF we got to the point of a 2nd ref (or we invent a time machine!)

    The key “poll” is hence going to be n=637 MPs

    Do they try to attach a 2nd ref to Boris’s Deal?
    Do we have a GE before we Leave (and new HoC back a 2nd ref on X Deal)?

    IF MPs, in this or the next HoC, back a 2nd ref then the group that was prepared to honour the 1st ref will probably move to Remain and the apparent “discrepancy” between polling will disappear.

  34. @oldnat

    Yes – similar phenomena around the EU elections where some polling companies ran 4000 or 8000 size samples, the effect of which was just to prove that when they landed 5% off, it was 5% systematic design error rather than just getting a bit unlucky with the random errors.

    I really don’t see a point in sampling over 1000 for a standard poll.

    This poll certainly doesn’t show anything different to any other previous smaller polls on Brexit outcomes, for example.

    Still in the position where:
    “Would you vote Remain or Leave given the chance”: majority Remain
    “Should we at this point Remain or Leave”: majority Leave

    Not at all contradictory, since there’s a noticeable “middle” of people who want individually to Remain but think there are overriding reasons that we collectively shouldn’t – just means that you can predictably get a poll in favour of either Remain or Leave by making a slight change to the question wording. Doesn’t make the polls worthless, but the headlines arising from them probably are…

  35. Bantams,
    “Leave with a deal @ 30% and Leave without a deal @ 20% still adds up to 50% who want to leave by some method.”

    Except it does not add up to 50% if the 30% dealers think no deal is unacceptable, and the 20% no dealers think a deal unacceptable.

    Indeed it highlights a problem that were we to leave with deal, the no dealers might found a party demanding no deal instead. Or if we leave with no deal, a new party might arise demanding a deal at once. Leavers would (are) at war amongst themselves because their goals are mutually exclusive.

    It is because there was never a majority for any real brexit.


    I suppose most of the polling that people have paid attention to since the referendum has been of the ‘right/wrong to leave’ type. There’s quite a big difference between that kind of question, which is about looking back at a decision with hindsight, and a question like the one Comres used which is about what should happen now. I suppose an analogy might be that you when you get to the top of a diving board and look down you decide that, in hindsight, maybe it wasn’t such a good idea. It doesn’t necessarily follow, though, that you’ll decide to climb back down the ladder in humiliation rather than just jump off.

    There are probably a fair number of voters who think that the referendum returned the wrong decision, but nevertheless believe we should go through with it. I’m probably in that camp, I’d reckon my parents are as well. It’ll likely be made up of conservative-leaning people who voted remain (though on balance rather than out of love for the EU) and are more worried about the prospect of a Labour government than they are about varying shades of Brexit. Indeed, whereas ALEC probably has me down in his system as a 5, if I thought it wouldn’t risk a Labour government (or if Labour were in more of a centrist Blairite mood) then I might be a 2 or 3, and if I was certain it would (somehow) lead to the annihilation of Labour and their replacement by the Lib Dems then I would be an enthusiastic 1.

  37. Will Theresa “A customs border down the Irish Sea is a deal that no British prime minister could accept” May vote for Johnson’s deal?

  38. @ Danny

    Same can be said for a splitered remain opposition which is why no consensus in Parliament “yet” for a combined front, LD’s saying no to Corbyn again today. Some want revoke and some want a second referendum.

    Once and if Brexit is done, whichever way it happens, most likely a deal now, will be accepted by the vast majority of the 2 groups representing leave. I want a deal but will accept no deal if the cards drop that way.

  39. Interesting dynamic in the talks.

    The UK has been playing down prospects this morning for a deal, while Tony Connelly is tweeting a much more positive tone from Barnier.

    However, Sam Coates suspects that Barnier’s positivity could be more about seeking to bounce Johnson into more concessions if a deal looks achievable.

    Work that one out!

    One thing that is, I think, becoming apparent. Whether it is this week or next month, it really does seem very clear that those who assumed there would be no deal were wrong.

    We’re going to get a deal. The only real question is going to be whether the UK accepts that deal or decides to remain. No deal was never an option.

  40. Finchley & Golders Green Westminster voting intention:

    LDEM: 33% (+26)
    CON: 25% (-22)
    LAB: 21% (-23)

    via @Survation, 2 Oct
    Chgs. w/ 2017 result.

    Looks like Luciana Berger chose the correct constituency in which to stand.

  41. @ ALEC – “I mean, do you think that economies never alter in relative size or compatibility”

    :-) :-) :-) :-)

    That one point clearly shows you have absolutely no idea what the supposed purpose of the “doppelganger” analysis is supposed to show.

    However, for sure. Yes. As I’ve said many times if you look at HOW the US or RoI or others have achieved stronger growth recently then economies can “diverge” (and hence any historic analysis is meaningless). Japan even had a little dabble with “Abe-economics” which basically turbo charged “deficit spending” (and hence why they had a brief period of decent growth).

    Examples of how a country could “improve” it’s GDP:

    – Germany ends it’s “black zero” approach to budget then their economy would very likely outperform (same for any country that ramps up govt spending)
    – UK (as per Lancaster House 2) drops it’s corporate tax rates, eases some regulations and “poaches” geographically mobile businesses (and indirectly encourages “profits” over “investement”[1]) – (same for any country that decreases taxes)

    of course likes of US, Poland and Hungary have done a “bit of both” (and it looks like Boris+Saj intend to do the same – which is simple terms is breaking free of ne0liberalism, but in a way that has been shown to work and not the Venezuela model!!)

    Don’t really follow Hungary but since it’s was in the IFS (old CER) “Frankenstein” then see how you can get 4.6% average growth over last 3yrs:

    PS The reason Japan has switched to Germany between the two Frankensteins is pretty obvious as a back-tested model needs to put a dog in with the race hounds to make it “fit” (in hindsight!!)

    [1] It doesn’t have to be like that. You can “incentivise” business investment over business profit via other parts of the tax code, state aid, etc BUT that is more LoC than RoC and sadly most of the countries that have successfully broken away from ne0liberalism are a bit too RoC to have mixed in some LoC stuff.

  42. @ BANTAMS – NI will be a great place to invest for sure. TBC the fine print and if have any info on what EC-EU27 side plan for NI then please post the info (I’ve posted the “trailers” for UK side many times – fantastic lobbying effort from DUP I have to say)

    As an English voter then I’m NOT happy about it but given much of my “Real World” work involves Real Businesses who are somewhat geographically mobile then I’ll take the charge of hypocr!te on the chin ;)

  43. The Trevors,
    “The key “poll” is hence going to be n=637 MPs
    Do they try to attach a 2nd ref to Boris’s Deal?”

    I would think first comes the question of whether this new deal which still does not exist is acceptable at all. It is likely to be inferior to many to deals already rejected.

    Dont forget we are moving towards revoke now.

  44. CambridgeCol

    Evening Standard report on that Finchley poll

    Lib Dems will have fun graphing that in their leaflets. :-)

  45. Question for LoC folks.

    Can you provide ANY examples (ideally developed nations) from ANY point in time (more recent the better of course) where whacking up taxes generated higher GDP?

    I ask this because most LoCs seem to be Remainers and Remain press and campaign seem to focus almost exclusively on “lost GDP”, etc.

    If I’ve missed any +ve reason to stay in EU then please post that but the “it’s not great but leaving would be worse” line isn’t going to cut it with folks who feel they’ve been “left behind” by ongoing ne0liberalism and aren’t part of (or f00led by) the “corporate Elite” and Establishment that want to stay in the EU (or at least the CU)

  46. Westminster voting intention:

    CON: 37% (+2)
    LAB: 22% (-)
    LDEM: 18% (-2)
    BREX: 11% (-1)
    GRN: 5% (-1)

    via @YouGov

    Chgs. w/ 09 Oct

  47. Emma Barnett has just been interviewing a Comres guy on 5 Live and he says from their 26000 poll nearly one in 5 who voted remain in 2016 would now vote leave whereas about one in 10 who voted leave in 2016 would now vote remain.

    They didn’t do a straight remain v leave as they think it’s an irrelevant exercise now, we aren’t going to see that combination again if a second referendum happens.

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