I’ve been catching up on sleep after the election, but this is just to add a brief, post-election round up of how the polls performed. In 2015 and 2017 the equivalent posts were all about how the polls had got it wrong, and what might have caused it (even in 2010, when the polls got the gap between Labour and the Conservatives pretty much spot on, there were questions about the overstatement of the Liberal Democrats). It’s therefore rather a relief to be able to write up an election when the polls were pretty much correct.

The majority of the final polls had all the main parties within two points, with Ipsos MORI and Opinium almost spot on – well done both of them. The only companies that really missed the mark were ICM and ComRes, who understated the Tories and overstated Labour, meaning they had Conservative leads of only 6 and 5 points in their final polls.

My perception during the campaign was that much of the difference between polling companies showing small Conservative leads and those companies showing bigger leads was down to how and if they were accounting for false recall when weighting using past vote – I suspect this may well explain the spread in the final polls. Those companies that came closest were those who either do not weight by past vote (MORI & NCPolitics), adjusted for it (Kantar), or used data collected in 2017 (Opinium & YouGov). ComRes and ICM were, as far as I know, both just weighting recalled 2017 past vote to actual 2017 vote shares, something that would risk overstating Labour support if people disproportionately failed to recall voting Labour in 2017.

The YouGov MRP performed less well than in 2017. The final vote shares it produced were all within 2 points of the actual shares, but the seat predictions showed a smaller Tory majority than happened in reality. Ben Lauderdale who designed the model has already posted his thoughts on what happened here. Part of it is simply a function of vote share (a small difference in vote share makes a big difference to seat numbers), part of it was an overstatement of Brexit party support in the key Conservative target seats. Whether that was having too many Brexit supporters in the sample, or Brexit party supporters swinging back to the Tories in the last 48 hours will be clearer once we’ve got some recontact data.

Finally, the 2019 election saw a resurgence of individual constituency polling, primarily from Survation and Deltapoll. Constituency polling is difficult (and I understand has become even more so since the advent of GDPR, as it has reduced the availability of purchasable database of mobile phone numbers from specific areas), and with small sample sizes of 400 or 500 it will inevitably be imprecise. Overall, it performed well this time though – particularly given that many of the constituency polls were conducted in seats you would expect to be hard to poll: unusual seats, or places with independents or high profile defectors standing. David Gauke’s support was understated, for example, and in Putney constituency polling overstated Lib Dem support at the expense of Labour. However, in many places it performed well, particularly the Chelsea & Fulham, Wimbledon, Finchley and Esher & Walton polls.

And with that, I’m off for a nice Christmas break. Have a good Christmas and happy new year.


2,835 Responses to “General election polling – post mortem”

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  1. Princess

    “not until the SNP becomes as corrupt as SLAB once was”

    As it undoubtedly will! It’s the fate of every party, as the careerists and self-aggrandisers weasel their way to power.

    PR reduces the chances of such a party remaining in government, but certainly doesn’t remove it.

  2. @Fred

    “There already was a vote , the answer was no.”

    A vote in a campaign driven by a mix of threat, woe, promise and fear. Project Fear wasn’t a Brexit invention.

    Not to mention the old ‘stay the UK to stay in the EU’ promise. Material change!

    “The SNP by the way got 45%”

    That wasn’t an Indyref campaign. It was a GE, and the SNP took over 80% of the seats. The Indyref campaign has not even started.

    This time, Labour won’t be bussing in a few hundred extra MPs to bolster their 40-odd Scots ones to scare pensioners about their pensions. Instead, there will be 40-odd SNP MPs marshalling thousands of SNP and Indy activists, not to mention all the other Indy groups that are not of the SNP.

    The rich and famous will not be listened to in the same way that they were in 2014. People are more clued in on celebs, such as Dan Snow, and his father in law’s estates. The ‘No oil’ scare stories will be laughed at. There have been two sizeable fields discovered this quarter.

    The media is treated with disdain, and license fee subscription is at a low. The new channels have not been embraced. Print media is dying a death.

    With a hostile Westminster, it should prove to be very, very interesting. I look forward to Project fear Mk2.

  3. @Oldnat

    “If SLab were to recover in Scotland, that would most probably be as a consequence of moving from “Total UK Unionism” to recognising Scotland’s right to choose its own future. If they needed the permission of their UK leader for that …..”

    Apparently some are moving in that direction. I can’t imagine it’s through any sudden moment of enlightenment, but rather their lack of electability, and some will test the water, and if unsuccessful, might switch away from Labour (to Green or SNP though?).

    Should Scottish Labour change their stance from Union to neutral, based on GE results alone (pointless, but still fun):
    Pro-Indy: 57%
    Pro-Union 43%

    Or from Union to Indy:
    Pro-Indy: 65%
    Pro-Union 35%

    Indy Scotland’s new political map would obviously have at least 2 LoC parties. I pray that ‘Labour’ (or Conservative in RoC for that matter) isn’t the name of one of them, as I’d like the new setup to be well removed from the old, but I’m sure Scottish Labour’s current crop would find a home within one of them.

    We can but that hope some of them can find the courage to jump ship, if the ship decides to sail with the Tories over the falls into Brexit.

  4. The Other [email protected]: I do not accept that the GE results give the Scots a mandate for a new referendum, the last one was only five years ago and they did not do as well in this election as they did in 2015. I do accept that they might have another referendum at some time in the future if they still want it but not in this parliament.

    This question is entirely a matter for Scots to decide. Your acceptance or not of the fact or the timing of any referendum is neither here nor there.

  5. The Other Howard,
    “We are on the brink of recession now as is much of Europe, mainly for reasons other than Brexit,”

    No Howard, we should have been enjoying something of a recovery from 2008 for the last 4 years, but instead have had brexit stagnation. Brexit means that insted of going bust to boom to bust as the cycles go round, we have left out the boom bit.

    Jib,
    “With hindsight, Labour should have adopted a position of we’re leaving, but staying in the Customs Union, or equivalent UK Customs Union.”

    And a bad result would have become a rout… And still a tory brexit. More lib MPs though. That would have been the extra ammunition Swinson needed to get remainers staying with libs.

    Chrislane1945,
    ” sees Stalin as a bit conservative.”

    Surely Stalin was vey conservative, and simply wished to continue rule by an absolute monarch under a different name with a different aristocracy supporting.

    Charles,
    ” I believe Scotland has not done so well on education ”

    I dont know how well Scotland has done on education, but in England the system is falling apart. Politicians keep talking about hiring more teachers, yet it is not possible to fill the current vacancies. As to whether those people working as teachers are any good at their jobs, many are not. For many years the system has worked to eradicate good teachers, with a combination of increased workload, piling up tasks onto those still capable of doing them, eliminating career advancement by defining job roles on low pay scales so as to cut costs. Anyone any good and therefore able to do other work has left.

    Alec,
    ” Are the new northern Tory MPs really going to look forward to a hard Brexit, when we know that this damages their seats more than any other?”

    Ah, you are making my arguments again..yet dont accept con want to stop brexit. Moving the destination point towards remain has been in their interest from the start. That is why con MPs stopped brexit happening in the last parliament.

  6. @Danny – “Ah, you are making my arguments again..yet dont accept con want to stop brexit. Moving the destination point towards remain has been in their interest from the start. That is why con MPs stopped brexit happening in the last parliament.”

    You are so wrong.

    Con MPs voted for Brexit in the last parliament, and guess what – the WA passed by a majority of 30. They then had an election where all their MPs pledged to Get Brexit Done, and guess what – they’ve now passed the WA again.

    Just get used to it – your idea that Conservatives were secretly trying to scupper Brexit while pretending to be full on in support for it was just plain wrong, and events have proved this beyond doubt. The conspiracy theory – as I promised you – remains nothing more than that. Time to move on to a new pet angle.

    The argument that they will soon be having is about how close our future trading arrangement will be with the EU. this is nothing about whether or not Brexit will happen. This, I think, has been your fundamental misunderstanding throughout.

    You’ve kept seeing arguments about the closeness of the post Brexit arrangement as confirming that Conservatives don’t really want Brexit, and this is wrong, as has been proven.

    Time to move on. Brexit is happening, and it will be delivered by the Conservatives.

  7. @oldnat

    The W Midlands and Scotland are about the same in terms of their fiscal position. When will the W Midlands stop being such an economic basketcase?

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/governmentpublicsectorandtaxes/publicsectorfinance/articles/countryandregionalpublicsectorfinances/financialyearending2018

  8. Alec,
    “Con MPs voted for Brexit in the last parliament, and guess what – the WA passed by a majority of 30. They then had an election where all their MPs pledged to Get Brexit Done, and guess what – they’ve now passed the WA again. ”

    But why did they do that? Because following their earlier failure to pass brexit, leave voters were deserting them in droves for BxP. Their goal is to be elected, they are faced with a choice of bad outcomes. The most immediate risk was to upset leavers right now and therefore to have lost the last election. Game lost, out of power. So they promised to get on with it, as indeed did Cameron and May neither of whom followed through. They took the step necessary to demonstrate good faith to leavers.

    All that shows is that in a game of cat and mouse over brexit they promised and re-promised to deliver and then have not done so.

    The ideal outcome for tories is to reset the clock to 2000 or earlier, where they were the party of euroscepticism. To get the leave vote on board we have to be inside the EU and con be moaning about it. To stop brexit is to lose that block vote. To execute brexit is to lose that block vote. They have to promise to deliver but be unable to.

    Nothing has happened which is inconsistent with this interpretation. In the end they might deliver brexit, but that is, depending on events, somewhere between a bad outcome for them and a disastrous one.

  9. Interesting revelations about the Murphy/Milne GE Campaign strategy.

    Hubris come readily to mind. One can imagine Milne saying “Redcar ?-where IS that ?”

    Are they both still drawing LP salaries?-strategising away.

  10. “We won the argument”. ??

    Perhaps not:-
    “………….However, the BMG poll suggests that his economic agenda and his stance on national security issues were both particularly unpopular.

    It found that 46 per cent of voters think Labour should ditch its current agenda on tax and change course, while just 27 per cent are in favour of policy similar to Mr Corbyn’s.
    Forty-five per cent of voters also want Labour’s current positions on public spending and nationalisation to be dumped, while in both cases 28 per cent do not.

    The gap is even wider on security issues, with 48 per cent saying that the new leader should break with Mr Corbyn’s approach to defence. Just 21 per cent support the current policy.”

    Indy

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/labour-leadership-jeremy-corbyn-agenda-candidates-latest-starmer-thornberry-nandy-lammy-a9256491.html

  11. JiB, Fred,

    It is worth revisiting the 2019 European elections to see how well Labour did with their policy of “a better brexit”, including a customs union with the EU.

    The results on the non-nationalist side were (UK percentages) LibDem 20%, Labour 14%, Green 12%, Change 3%. Labour’s core vote was scattered to the winds of the remain parties.

    Labour policy was changed in October to endorse a new referendum, which was the minimum necessary to get remainers back on board. The election campaign was successful in squeezing those other parties: LibDem 12% Labour 32%, Green 3%, Change 0%, bringing Labour back to where it was in April just before the European election campaign started.

    In this respect it was a successful campaign for Labour, coming second and maintaining its position as the official opposition. That was seriiously in doubt with the pro-brexit policy.

  12. Michel Barnier confirms that the EU objectives for the talks will be diplomatic cooperation, security and a free trade agreement.

    The key passage on trade is:

    “In the “political declaration” agreed in October alongside the withdrawal agreement, the UK government made clear that it will pursue a free-trade agreement with the EU, and rejected the idea that it would remain in the EU customs union. That means the UK and the EU will become two separate markets.”

    https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/europe-uk-future-relationship-negotiations-by-michel-barnier-2019-12

  13. @Technicolouroctober et al

    “This question is entirely a matter for Scots to decide. Your acceptance or not of the fact or the timing of any referendum is neither here nor there.”

    Why?

    The English should also have a say in the future of the Union; and if we were to choose to end it, it should end.

    I love Scotland, I admire the Scots and their culture: but after devolution, the Union became indefensible on principle because of the ‘West Lothian question’.

    For many of us in England, the spectacle of the SNP helping to thwart the will of the English and Welsh since the 2016 Referendum (the actual ‘leave’ vote excluding Scotland and Northern Ireland was over 53%, not the much quoted 52%) has confirmed that the current constitutional relationship between the constituent nations of the UK is undemocratic and unsustainable.

    I’d like to see another referendum in Scotland with the choice of either independence or a reversion to the pre-devolution constitution; and a parallel referendum for England offering an end to the Union.

    But of course that won’t happen.

    And if the Scots do get their independence, I will wish them nothing but the best (and I think many English people feel the same).

  14. Good morning all from a mild and sunny Winchester.

    I see some peeps have written off Labour’s chances for electoral success for the next decade….I’m not so sure!

    If the Labour party take time and choose the correct leader then I can realistically see them winning the next election.

    For someone to be a successful leade of the Labour party they also need to be someone who the public can actually see and accept as a future Prime minister.

    Hopefuls such as Jess Phillips, Rebecca Long-Bailey,Angela Rayner and Lisa Nandy can no doubt lead the Labour party but I don’t honestly think the general public will see them as Prime minster material.

    I like Emily Thornberry and she has had a lot of exposure during Prime minsters questions and can handle being on the big stage but is she Prime minister material? I reckon Thornberry would revive Labour but not get them over the winning line.

    Yvette Cooper would be a strong leader but her persona is one of a constant grumpy aunt and I can’t see her being a future PM.

    Keir Starmer is another hopeful leadership contender I personally like and someone who I can realistically see on a World stage as a future PM but unfortunately his ultra remain stance may not convince the leave voters who lent BoJo their votes to come back to Labour.

    The best Labour can hope for is that Brexit is a success so they can fight the next election on policy with a leader who the public can realistically see on a World stage.

    The big question I want to ask is….Why isn’t the member of parliament for Camberwell and Peckham not putting her name into the hat?

  15. Why Corbyn didn’t have many options in reality

    Just after the election I pointed out – via the Times article – that when it comes to the election, Tories targeted leave voters better than Labour with straightforward messages and policies that didn’t need much joining of dots.

    However the key thing to bear in mind is that Corbyn wasn’t actually in a good position to do likewise. Certainly Corbyn offered things that might in theory appeal to Leavers worried about the impact of immigration on jobs, housing etc,, like creating jobs and building more housing, but once again, if it’s not targeted explicitly at them, they might think the jobs are for others, not them. More diversity officers or summat. Houses in another part of the country.

    The kicker though, is that if Corbyn had made clear he was going to create more jobs, and build more houses and provide more school places specifically in areas where Leavers felt more impacted by immigration, it still might not have worked, indeed it might have even made things worse for Labour.

    Because while you have free movement, if you provide those extra jobs, houses, schools and hospitals, people may worry that they won’t benefit and it will simply attract more immigration to take up the new jobs, houses and school places.

    The real source of the problem comes back to the EU failing to do enough on transfer payments, to reduce the anounts of free movement, or to otherwise limit Free movement until the economies of Eastern Europe were a bit more aligned.

    But it’s also possible that the liberals within New Labour were keen on enlargement and didn’t care about transitional.controls: they went for broke, saw a once in a lifetime opportunity to try and make their kind of liberalism a fate accomplis, introducing mechanisms for more private sector into schools and hospitals etc., and to have so much immigration people hopefully just accept it as the new reality.

    Unfortunately, it might have backfired a bit.

  16. fait

  17. @Colin – I would agree that the meme that Labour won on the economic policy argument is very weak. They didn’t. If they had done, then they probably wouldn’t have lost the election.

    This isn’t to say that some of their policies weren’t popular, but I think it’s pretty clear what is going on here. Different factions within Labour are arguing for a different Magic Bullet that will solve their problems. These factions are based both on the Brexit divide, but also on the left/right spectrum. In my view, all of them – and I mean absolutely all of them – need to understand that no single change, to either personell, policy or strategy – would have produced a winning result. There were many different problems on display, and all of them need fixing.

    The leadership was dreadful. Yes, Corbyn was under intense (and in many cases, unfair) pressure, but he was and is not a good leader. never has been. Needs to go, and if he had any care for the Labour movement he would do what McDonnell has done, and shoulder the blame for everything, whether or not it was his fault. That’s what decent leaders do, for the sake of their party. Carry with them as much of the negative perceptions into retirement, so whoever follows can be seen as a clean skin. Corbyn’s admissions of failure have been half hearted and grudging, and for that, he is losing any respect I had for him.

    Brexit was clearly a big problem, probably unresolvable for Labour, but the dithering of the leadership just hurt.

    Economic policy was far too rigid and unimaginative, and was obsessed with process, not outcomes.

    Management of the election campaign and the wider political strategy was appalling. Utterly appalling. Quite how Milne et al. have the bottle to continue drawing a salary beats me. These people must have no shame, no personal integrity.

    The battle over the succession proves that Corbyn and his close advisers care only about control of the party. This is a great shame, and a reason why they must be stopped. All factions in Labour need to recognise their share of failure, the Corbyn/Milne faction most of all.

    Multiple things need to be put right, and if they become obsessed with the battle for the party machinery, none of the issues will be addressed.

  18. AC

    “I see some peeps have written off Labour’s chances for electoral success for the next decade….I’m not so sure!

    If the Labour party take time and choose the correct leader then I can realistically see them winning the next election.”

    I agree. Come back Andy Burnham, all is forgiven…well. it worked for Boris, going off to be a mayor and then returning to Parliament.

  19. [email protected] et al re “This question is entirely a matter for Scots to decide. Your acceptance or not of the fact or the timing of any referendum is neither here nor there.”

    Why?

    The English should also have a say in the future of the Union; and if we were to choose to end it, it should end.

    ‘The union’ is actually 2 unions. And they are voluntary unions. No one country should be made to remain in the union against its will. Unless you are saying it should be voluntary for England but coercive for Scotland.

    I’d like to see another referendum in Scotland with the choice of either independence or a reversion to the pre-devolution constitution; and a parallel referendum for England offering an end to the Union.
    ie take away devolution without the consent of the Scots and make it all or nothing? How odd. Methinks you are trolling.

  20. @ Hal

    “It is worth revisiting the 2019 European elections to see how well Labour did with their policy of “a better brexit”, including a customs union with the EU.

    The results on the non-nationalist side were (UK percentages) LibDem 20%, Labour 14%, Green 12%, Change 3%. Labour’s core vote was scattered to the winds of the remain parties.”

    Some figures for you, changes from the Euro Election results to General Election result (%) UK & NI:

    Brexit 31 2 ch -29
    Liberal Democrats 20 12 ch -8
    Labour Party 14 32 ch +18
    Green Party (E&W) 12 2 ch -10
    Conservative Party 9 44 ch +35

    I think there’s some validity in your argument, but Labour ended up fishing in a smaller pool of voters with their decision.

  21. (+ lost a significant % of their pro-Leave core to the Tories)

  22. Good Morning everyone from a warm and sunny Southbourne East; ward of Bournemouth East, where Tobias Ellwood sits, next to Chris Chope over the river and Conor Burns over the other side of the road.

    Danny. Hello to you, agreed about Stalin.

    David Miliband for me. Denis Skinner, who used to be an MP for Bolsover, joined the Commons in 1964, voted for him to succeed Gordon Brown in 2010. Ed Miliband won that election.

    I wonder where they all are now.

  23. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/labour-leadership-jeremy-corbyn-agenda-candidates-latest-starmer-thornberry-nandy-lammy-a9256491.html

    There has been a bit of polling on Labour Leadership: Preferred
    Keir Starmer 9% (16% Labour voters)
    Jess Phillips 8% (11% Labour voters)
    Yvette Cooper 6% (7% Labour voters)
    Rebecca Long Bailey 2% (Nandy/Lammy poll higher but does not give a figure)

    Amongst Tory Voters Yvette Cooper slightly more popular than Keir Starmer. Obvious issue is that many voters have not heard of any of the lower profile candidates. But the figures are not good for RLB

    I did check the odds and Kier Starmer is now joint favourite with RLB with Nandy 3rd favourite. The Labour membership is considered to the left so likely to favour RLB But is is it? Many of the recent members probably joined to influence the brexit position so are more likely to favour Starmer?.

  24. As I observe the ongoing travails of Labour from my lofty perch [1], I note that the widespread assumption that their new leader will be both English and a woman [2].

    I fully understand why no one would want Ian Murray, but are none of the 22 from Wales worthy of consideration?

    SLab tried electing a female leader 3 times, and all packed the job in – at least partly due to the patriarchal (to be generous) or misogynistic (to be honest) attitudes within the party. Hopefully, English Labour will be more generous and allow the new leader to choose the brand of tea, as well as making it.

    Given ELab’s rare victory happened in Putney, seeking the advice of a wise woman from there might be appropriate.

    https://www.dailymotion.com/video/xqwgcb

    [1] We live on a hill, and my study is upstairs.

    [2] And I’m not getting into the current debate as to which factors define that category of humanity!

  25. @Carfrew – “The real source of the problem comes back to the EU failing to do enough on transfer payments, to reduce the anounts of free movement, or to otherwise limit Free movement until the economies of Eastern Europe were a bit more aligned. ”

    I think this is something of a misscharacterization, although I accept you have partly rebalanced this with the following paragraph.

    I would suggest that the vast majority of the problems caused were more due to Westminster failing to deliver.

    The first problem was the failure (as you say) to adopt transitional brakes on the new A7 countries. This was a bad miscalculation by New Labour. However, all governments have failed to adequately apply the available controls anyway – even today.

    Under Directive 2004/38/EC, which defines the legal basis of free movement, Member States can ask EU migrants to register their presence (even for stays under 3 months). Application of this would have been a good start.

    We couldn’t have stopped any stays of under 3 months (but they, Brazilians can come here visa free for under 3 months, albeit not working) but for longer stays, EU citizens and their (non working) dependents can be asked to prove that they are not a burden on the health and social services of the host country. The UK never adopted these measures, so we struggled to know how many people were here and what they were contributing/costing, or where they were living.

    Then we get to the issues of housing, schools, medicals services etc. My sister was a school governor at one point, and relates how in the time between breaking up in July and returning to school in September, their small town primary school with an intake of two classes found they had a four and a half class intake one summer, virtually all eastern Europeans. Unplanned, unknown in advance, and unfunded.

    Of course this kind of thing causes resentment, and of course the EU should have thought a bit more about that, but in reality, the key decisions were taken at Westminster, by successive governments, and on the issue of free movement, they all took the wrong decisions at every turn.

  26. ALEC
    @”The battle over the succession proves that Corbyn and his close advisers care only about control of the party.”

    They will never implement their Socialist Paradise if they lose control.

    So The Left will hold fast to it and wait for that which has been foretold-the collapse of Capitalism & the Rise of THe People.

  27. Another indication as to why seeking to get closer to the Chinese economy while moving away from our democratic friends in the EU may not be such a bright idea – https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/dec/22/tesco-halts-production-at-chinese-factory-over-forced-labour-claims-christmas-cards

    I’ve never really understood those posters who seem so fearful of European democracies with their market economies.

    When I choose to think about it, I’m terrified of the prospect of Chinese domination of the global economy – yet these guys keep telling me that’s where the growth is and we need to get closer to it.

    I just wonder….

  28. “So The Left will hold fast to it and wait for that which has been foretold-the collapse of Capitalism & the Rise of THe People.”

    ——

    Or maybe till we’ve left the EU and the influence of mainstream media has declined some more. Maybe Tories will do them a favour and sell off the BBC.

  29. @ChrisLane

    Can’t speak for the others, but Gordon Brown gets wheeled out every time there’s an Indy poll that spooks the media. His general speel is that there will be a biglier bigliest Devo to the maxiest federalism. :D

  30. OLDNAT
    “ToH is simply stating the position of every member of the dominant, governing group – everywhere, at any time (except, perhaps for the civilised Danes).”

    Except of course it’s not true because of the following, I quote from Wikipedia:

    “A referendum took place on Thursday 18 September 2014 on Scottish independence from the United Kingdom. The referendum question was, “Should Scotland be an independent country?”, which voters answered with “Yes” or “No”. The “No” side won with 2,001,926 (55.3%) voting against independence and 1,617,989 (44.7%) voting in favour. The turnout of 84.6% was the highest recorded for an election or referendum in the United Kingdom since the January 1910 general election, which was held before the introduction of universal suffrage.

    The Scottish Independence Referendum Act 2013 set out the arrangements for the referendum and was passed by the Scottish Parliament in November 2013, following an agreement between the devolved Scottish government and the Government of the United Kingdom. The independence proposal required a simple majority to pass. All European Union (EU) or Commonwealth citizens residing in Scotland age 16 or over could vote, with some exceptions, which produced a total electorate of almost 4,300,000 people. This was the first time that the electoral franchise was extended to include 16 and 17-year-olds in Scotland.”

    So, the UK Government has not denied the Scottish people the right to determine their own future, far from it, and in 2015 the Scottish people rejected independence by a margin greater than 10%.

    I would also point out that the leader of the SNP at the time, Alex Salmond said the Scottish referendum is a “once in a generation opportunity”.

    Speaking to Andrew Marr on TV he said that a simple majority, however close, would be accepted by both sides in the campaign and there would be a “generational” gap before another independence referendum.

    You say I should be ignored, should the facts be ignored?

  31. STATGEEK
    “You can ignore the facts if it suits you, but facts are chiels that winna ding.”

    Well I am happy to look at the facts, and have just quoted some to OLDNAT, which might be of interest to you.

    Here are some more.

    SNP GE election results in Scotland:
    2010 19.9% of votes, 491,386 votes, 6 seats at Westminster.
    2015 50% of votes, 1,454,436 votes, 56 seats at Westminster.
    2017 36.9% of votes, 977569 votes, 35 seats at Westminster.
    2019 45% of votes, 1,242,380 votes, 48 seats at Westminster.

    You claim that the 45% of the vote (1,242,380 votes) in the 2019 GE gives the SNP a mandate for another independence referendum. Well as you can see the SNP got 5% more (2012,056 more votes) in 2015. Unfortunately for the SNP, that was only a year after the 2014 independence referendum which the SNP lost.
    I would also point out that the SNP vote in 2019 was 759,546 votes lower than the 2,001,926 votes cast in the 2014 referendum against leaving the UK.

    You cannot even claim that a second independence referendum was the main aim of the SNP manifesto. It wasn’t, and if you look at the SNP manifesto web page the bullet points are as follows.

    Protecting Scotland’s NHS.
    An Escape from Brexit.
    Ending a decade of Westminster austerity.
    Tackling the global climate change emergency.
    Scrapping Trident.
    Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands.

    So last on the list, not first. Even the SNP battle bus did not reflect it. The banner on the side said STOP BREXIT.

    I am happy to stick to the facts.

  32. @Alec

    “Of course this kind of thing causes resentment, and of course the EU should have thought a bit more about that, but in reality, the key decisions were taken at Westminster, by successive governments, and on the issue of free movement, they all took the wrong decisions at every turn.”

    ——-

    But that’s the point. Leavers know that as long as we are in the EU with free movement on the table, if a party in the UK gets elected that wants mass migration from the EU then they can ditch those controls. For the Leavers, leaving the EU helps to close that loophole.

  33. FRED
    “Why so negative, there won’t be a recession in the UK, expect a growth spike in the 2nd and 3rd quarters”
    You may well be correct; I am certainly not negative about the long-term future. I would point out though, that even under your scenario it would still be possible for the UK to have a short-lived recession if the last quarter of 2019 and first quarter of 2020 have negative GDP.

    TO
    “This question is entirely a matter for Scots to decide. Your acceptance or not of the fact or the timing of any referendum is neither here nor there.”

    My acceptance might be neither here nor there, but the UK Government does have a say, legally I believe. Ultimately, I agree it is for the Scottish people to say in a referendum once the UK Government agrees that they can have another one. I am not against another referendum for the Scottish people provided the timing is sensible as I posted.

    JBOYD
    “The English should also have a say in the future of the Union; and if we were to choose to end it, it should end.”

    Of course, an interesting set of comments from you giving an English point of view.

  34. NORBOLD
    AC

    “I see some peeps have written off Labour’s chances for electoral success for the next decade….I’m not so sure!

    If the Labour party take time and choose the correct leader then I can realistically see them winning the next election.”
    ……………
    I agree. Come back Andy Burnham, all is forgiven…well. it worked for Boris, going off to be a mayor and then returning to Parliament.
    _____________

    I forgot about wee Andy and yes he would be quite a good leadership candidate and possible future PM. The problem is the Labour party would need to boot someone out all call a by-election so wee Andy can get into parliament before 2021.

  35. ToH

    You should have been a politician. You are quite skilled at selecting only “facts” (or at least your interpretation of them) to support your argument. That’s what politicians do.

    That’s why I suggested that your comments were best ignored, rather than engaged with.

    What is of more interest to me is that the Tories ran their campaign here entirely on a “No to indyref2” platform, although their manifesto has other points – and lost heavily.

    Of even more interest is the qualification of the “No” message that appears as Point 1 in the manifesto, but nowhere else in their messaging –

    “We will stop Nicola Sturgeon’s plan for a second independence referendum next year.” (my emphasis)

    That does suggest that your leadership, will alter its stance if that is to its benefit. The Tory membership, displaying all the characteristics of authoritarian followers, will then parrot the new line.

  36. @Alec

    The Government sold the pass on foreign ownership of our defence industry long ago. Just look at how many of these companies are now owned by Thales (French) and Leonardo (Italian).

    Check out what happened to Barr & Stroud, Ferranti, Plessey, Racal, Short Bros, Thorn-EMI, Westland helicopters etc.

  37. @carfrew – “But that’s the point. Leavers know that as long as we are in the EU with free movement on the table, if a party in the UK gets elected that wants mass migration from the EU then they can ditch those controls. For the Leavers, leaving the EU helps to close that loophole.”

    Yes, I can understand that this is what they believe, but there is a fatal flaw in their reasoning.

    That flaw is, and always has been, a very simple one, which is that no UK government – of either party – has ever had any inclination to control immigration. Leaving the EU because of a desire to impose immigration controls is a complete fiction.

    The latest immigration stats offer yet another case in point. Total net migration was 212,000, with 199,000 arriving from the EU but 151,000 of those leaving.

    If the leave minded Conservatives wanted to, they could have prevented the 344,000 immigrants arriving from non EU countries (year to June 2019) and thus engineered a net fall in total UK population of 136,000. We could have done this without the disruption of leaving the EU, but we chose not to.

    Leavers may wish to believe that being out of the EU means we can impose more controls on immigration, but they then have to ask themselves whether this makes any practical difference.

  38. The Other [email protected] OLDNAT “ToH is simply stating the position of every member of the dominant, governing group – everywhere, at any time (except, perhaps for the civilised Danes).”

    Except of course it’s not true because of the following, I quote from Wikipedia:

    “A referendum took place on Thursday 18 September 2014 on Scottish independence from the United Kingdom. The referendum question was, “Should Scotland be an independent country?”, which voters answered with “Yes” or “No”. The “No” side won with 2,001,926 (55.3%) voting against independence and 1,617,989 (44.7%) voting in favour. The turnout of 84.6% was the highest recorded for an election or referendum in the United Kingdom since the January 1910 general election, which was held before the introduction of universal suffrage.

    The Scottish Independence Referendum Act 2013 set out the arrangements for the referendum and was passed by the Scottish Parliament in November 2013, following an agreement between the devolved Scottish government and the Government of the United Kingdom. The independence proposal required a simple majority to pass. All European Union (EU) or Commonwealth citizens residing in Scotland age 16 or over could vote, with some exceptions, which produced a total electorate of almost 4,300,000 people. This was the first time that the electoral franchise was extended to include 16 and 17-year-olds in Scotland.”

    So, the UK Government has not denied the Scottish people the right to determine their own future, far from it, and in 2015 the Scottish people rejected independence by a margin greater than 10%.

    I would also point out that the leader of the SNP at the time, Alex Salmond said the Scottish referendum is a “once in a generation opportunity”.

    Speaking to Andrew Marr on TV he said that a simple majority, however close, would be accepted by both sides in the campaign and there would be a “generational” gap before another independence referendum.

    You say I should be ignored, should the facts be ignored?

    You should be ignored. The facts and the consequences of those facts are entirely for Scots to determine.

    But I do want to take the opportunity to nail the ‘Once in a Generation’ distortion. The phrase is certainly in the Scottish Government White Paper “Scotland’s Future” [to be found here – https://www.gov.scot/publications/scotlands-future/ ] appearing on pages i and viii above Salmond’s signature. As you correctly state, the words are ‘once in a generation opportunity’. To me, that is no more and no less than an exhortation to vote for Independence because the circumstances which led to the IndyRef were not expected to repeat frequently. To construe it as a promise not to have another IndyRef for any given period is a distortion.

    As for Salmond stating that there would be a ‘generational gap’ between referendums, this is not in his gift. This is for all Scots to decide and we gave a mandate for another IndyRef.

    Ultimately, it is foolish to suppress the desire for Independence by suppressing IndyRefs. Ultimately such a course only strains the union further, and it seems that even tories such as Andrew Mitchell recognise this.

  39. OLDNAT

    “You should have been a politician. You are quite skilled at selecting only “facts” (or at least your interpretation of them) to support your argument. That’s what politicians do.

    Well it’s what the SNP does all the time, so if I am to be ignored, a mere UK voter then the SNP are to be ignored by the same logic.

    That’s why I suggested that your comments were best ignored, rather than engaged with.”

    So facts should be ignored. I notice sensibly, you have not really taken issue with anything I posted particularly when I pointed out what you originally posted was simply not supported by the facts.

    As you well know I am fully supportive of a new independance referendum for the Scottish people at a point in the future which is reasonable and rational, and if they really want one. In other words I support the view expressed by Alex Salmond at the time of the referendum and quoted to STATGEEK, after a generation has passed seems appropriate.

  40. TO

    Thanks for confirming the correctness of what I posted about Salmond’s and the SNP’s position

    “To construe it as a promise not to have another IndyRef for any given period is a distortion.”

    You may think so I suspect the majority would not.

  41. @Alec

    “That flaw is, and always has been, a very simple one, which is that no UK government – of either party – has ever had any inclination to control immigration. Leaving the EU because of a desire to impose immigration controls is a complete fiction.

    The latest immigration stats offer yet another case in point. Total net migration was 212,000, with 199,000 arriving from the EU but 151,000 of those leaving.”

    ——

    Fatal flaw, lol. The fatal flaw is in not realising that until Blair screwed things up again, there was no need to control EU immigration. We had three decades of free movement where most were fine with it, because economies were aligned sufficiently we didn’t get the influx we got once we brought in Eastern Europe.

    As for current immigration, we’ve been through this before. It’s not just the amount of immigration per se, but the impact of it.

    Restrictions have been placed – since Theresa – on people coming here to work. Numbers of immigrants were maintained by doing things like increasing the numbers of students, many of whom leave and if they stay don’t necessarily compete for the jobs that those leavers do.*

    And this is before getting to the point that Leavers may wish to elect a Corbyn but feel they can’t as all that extra investment might just attract more immigration from the EU.

    * (There’s another elephant in the room here, that while some Remainers may favour EU immigration because feel more comfortable with that gene pool and culture, others may prefer immigration from other gene pools and cultures).

  42. Beware Squakbox, personally I am not a fan of Anna Turley but that is irrelevant

    https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/18112912.anna-turley-wins-high-court-libel-battle-unite-union/

  43. The Other [email protected] re “You can ignore the facts if it suits you, but facts are chiels that winna ding.”
    Well I am happy to look at the facts, and have just quoted some to OLDNAT, which might be of interest to you.

    Here are some more.

    You cannot even claim that a second independence referendum was the main aim of the SNP manifesto. It wasn’t, and if you look at the SNP manifesto web page the bullet points are as follows.

    Protecting Scotland’s NHS.
    An Escape from Brexit.
    Ending a decade of Westminster austerity.
    Tackling the global climate change emergency.
    Scrapping Trident.
    Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands.

    So last on the list, not first. Even the SNP battle bus did not reflect it. The banner on the side said STOP BREXIT.

    I am happy to stick to the facts.

    Facts? OK, look at the manifesto itself. You can find a link here: https://www.snp.org/general-election-2019/. Go to Page 4, headed ‘Our Key Pledges’. “Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands” is the first pledge, not the last.

    The text below this pledge says “We have a clear mandate to deliver a new referendum on becoming an independent country, and we are making it clear at this election that next year we intend to offer the people of Scotland a choice over their future.”

    I defy you to continue with the distortion that another Independence Referendum was not a main aim.

  44. @ALEC
    In your note to CARFREW earlier, you pointed out how a simple application of the existing rules, could have reduced the problems associated with immigration from the EU. It is interesting, that now that British expats are applying for cartes de sejour in France, in order that they can remain there after Brexit, a number have found that their presence in France is not, and has never been, legal. They are being told to leave, usually because their resources are insufficient to avoid them being a possible burden on the state.
    The French, like the British, have not required other European citizens to register their stay or apply for any kind of documentation in recent years, even though they could have done so, deeming it an unnecessary administrative burden. It does, however, demonstrate that the law was there if they, or we had wanted to use it.

  45. TO

    I defy you to continue with the distortion that another Independence Referendum was not a main aim.

    I didn’t do so, I just pointed out what was on the first page of the SNP manifest website and what was on the side of SNP battle bus, neither of which facts you can deny.

    As I posted to OLDNAT, I am not against the Scottish people having another referendum, in fact I am supportive provided they want one and it is in line with the statement made by the SNP leader at the time of the 2014 referendum, that is after a generation.

  46. TO

    Sorry, delete my first sentence, it is not correct, it clearly was a main aim as it was in the list I provided it, just happened to be the last on that list.

  47. TO

    The fact that another referendum was one of the SNP’s main aims in their manifesto does not invalidate all the other points I made to you and OLDNAT in my posts at 11.43 and 11.46.

  48. When events happen that I am distressed by I remind myself of the maxim “nothing is ever as good or bad as it first appears to be”. I also remind myself of Kipling’s words from “If”

    If you can meet with triumph and disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;

    The only difficulty I have with those thoughts at this time is that I believe that promises have been made by politicians which cannot be kept. Those promises were made to people who hold the subject matters as part of their identity. As such their anger will be magnified when their hopes are dashed. That anger will unleash in some form and will be undirected. Unfortunately, in my view, it will not be those who made the promises that will suffer for their failure when that anger is unleashed, but as usual the poor, the disabled, the weak and the young will pay the price.
    This world is a vale of tears, but when politicians make the struggle worse than it needs be in pursuit of their projects of vanity I despair.

  49. @ Colin

    “They will never implement their Socialist Paradise if they lose control.
    So The Left will hold fast to it and wait for that which has been foretold-the collapse of Capitalism & the Rise of THe People.”

    I’m not sure you are understanding democracy within the Labour Party.

    I wouldn’t claim to know the mood of the Labour members any more than I claim to know the mood of the whole country- the best I can do is the small bubble of friends and people I have brief chats with in my local party.

    But as, I think, Jim Jam pointed out, the last leadership election saw Owen Smith getting 40% of the vote. There will be many who will be purists but I think the majority of members are pragmatic.

    Everyone has their breaking point and for me Blair was a breaking point where Kinnock, Brown (jury out at the time), Ed Miliband weren’t and I think most members will be amenable to a different direction within reason. I don’t think an anointed successor to Corbyn stands much chance to be honest and the race is wide open (excluding people too far to the right of the party). It will depend on what their analysis is for the defeat, what their plans are to put it right and how electable they look for a future General Election.

    Also while the NEC up to now has returned Momentum supported candidates in the members vote and may for a while continue to do so (seeing as no-one has heard of many of them anyway), it will be much more likely that if Momentum supported members of the NEC do not back a future leader that they will get voted off for disloyalty much as the previous NEC were.

    It’s the membership who have the grip on the party now, for better or for worse. There is little any faction can do to ensure their faction stays on top if they do not have the backing of the membership. Leader, Deputy Leader, NEC, MP, Conference delegates all need some degree of membership support- mostly to a very high degree.

    “The left” as you call it cannot control the party if the membership don’t want them to and the membership is much more broad church than you seem to think. (Caveat- I could be wrong and we will find out in time!).

  50. re indy/bmg polling on policies vs corbyn.

    Would like to see the actual questions rather than the indy’s spin on the results but full tabs don’t appear to be out yet.

    There are hints in the write up that that policies were associated quite closely with corbyn in which case there is likely to be ‘cross contamination’ between dislike of each.

    Most other similar exercises to date have generally shown the leader to be more important than the policies.

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