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. R&D

    I suspect that many momentum members are like me only members as a way of giving financial support to their campaigning and a way of marking a kind of loose support for their basic aims. But I honest can’t be bothered with momentum internal elections or politics, if I dont like their direction I’ll just cancel my DD

  2. R&D

    I suspect that many momentum members are like me only members as a way of giving financial support to their campaigning and a way of marking a kind of loose support for their basic aims. But I honest can’t be bothered with momentum internal elections or politics, if I dont like their direction I’ll just cancel my DD

  3. Danny
    On your National Sovereignty index I would change the last 3 numbers to 7 3 7 but that tells nobody anything they didn’t already know – that I dislike the EU and am an optimist, whereas you differ.
    —————————
    ON
    Interesting Electoral Calculus graphic. I’m surprised that you didn’t complain about the missing SNP. EC really ought to do a similar exercise for Scotland (and the other bits).

  4. “On your National Sovereignty index …..”

    I’m getting to like this National Sovereignty Index thing. We could make it into a TV series.

    You could have a whole series called NSI Clacton, where a group of determined old buffers launch investigations into bananas that are too straight, or pursue criminals whose lawnmowers are too quiet, or chase foreign looking blokes through the streets because they are wearing French style berets.

    This could take off!

  5. ALEC

    Obviously the parties can agree a variation, but, specifically as regards the NI Protocol, I was thinking more of the renewal procedure under Article 18 without which, at least in principle and subject to the 1988 UK Ireland IGA, Articles 5-10 of the protocol (which are the reason FlyBe flights to NI are an ECJ matter after transition) ultimately cease to apply.

    I don’t see that it’s accurate to call a provision that lapses by default unless renewed periodically “permanent”.

    I suspect the expectation is that it will be renewed routinely. Though that presumption might overestimate the good sense/ underestimate the capacity for mutually destructive childishness of the elected politicians in the six counties.

  6. @ Davwell

    Sorry for not thanking you sooner- have been quite busy. Useful information although the 15% figures seems quite low at any one time so not that impressed with that. I was interested in your point on preferred habitat so when I get time I’ll try and do a bit more online research at that starting with wiki wildcats! Obviously if they don’t need much in the way of forest then it doesn’t matter but then if they don’t then what are they doing there? At the moment the group seems concerned about breeding season and disruption which seems reasonable to me.

    I’d probably be in that extreme group despite what you say. I don’t think if a species is in danger of going extinct then we should worry about jobs and economy- not saying we shouldn’t do everything necessary to mitigate all of that damage to incomes.

    Ultimately my gut feeling is too little and too late as with all other examples of species going extinct and no-one willing to do what is necessary- that boat may already have sailed anyway.

    Much appreciated your comments though and gives me a better understanding.

  7. OMG

    The rastafarians are also sending in 10 pledges they want labour leadership candidates to sign up to. This on top of the 10 pledges from the board of deputies and the 10 from the muslim council. Who’s next? Atheists?

    Fortunately the trans community doesn’t have the level of centralized organisation to send in 10 pledges. I imagine that the top demand from the board of trans deputies would be the expulsion of jess Phillips and all her supporters, oddly I dont really care about her transphobia but the trans community are up in arms about it.

  8. @ALEC

    In fairness we have had several reversals of privatisations not because of neol!beralism per se but because one of the things that happens to company’s is they can go bankrupt. Fall out of favour and be poorly run

    The argument about privatisation as that because people want to make they would do right by customers. Like a lot of ideologies this has been proved wrong.

    It is rather interesting that when asked. out of every 10 start ups only 1 is successful, Indeed VC suggest that investing in as many of the companies in a market as possible to spread bet one is successful and then persuade them to merge and consolidate.

    Neol!liberalism sold only the idea of success. it never ever sells the failure

  9. TSSA decide to ballot members on whether they support RLB or Starmer.

    Staggers reporting that trade union general secs are fed up with losing and see Sir K as most like a winner.

    Starting to.feel very 1983 ish .Thatcher transforms Tories on back of Falklands war.aka as Brexit)Labour left leader not seen as electable gets replaced by soft left bloke who drives Labour towards winning but ultimately falls short.

  10. PETE. – You do know it’s not the number of page members that is indicative, it’s the number of page followers – which in their case is over 80,000. That’s 80,000 people re-circulating their posts to an even wider audience. That’s the idea – that’s how it works.

  11. BRILLIANT SMITH – Which raises the question that say for example they pick Starmer and lose again in 2024 (which they will IMHO irrespective of who they choose) and he commits the obligatory hari-kiri which way do they move then? Back to Blairism or back to Corbynism ?

  12. Princess Rachel

    The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster can only help Labour.

  13. One might reasonably expect that, in a United Kingdom, all candidates for the leadership of a major political party that has pretensions to govern the whole kingdom, would have a clear understanding of the main issues in all parts of the kingdom.

    Yet, if that were the case then Labour’s sole MP would not have to make this appeal to the candidates.

    “I say to all leadership and deputy leadership candidates, ‘Please don’t come up to Scotland and talk about things when you’re not quite sure what you’re talking about.’ Just make sure in the first instance that you at least try and understand.”

    That last sentence, desperately pleading for at least a minimal attempt not to demonstrate their total ignorance, is very telling.

  14. @Peterw – I understand.

    Yes – I think you are correct, in that the provisions need to be ratified by the NI assembly. Hard to see that they would not maintain this arrangement, given the damage refusal would do to NI, but Westminster is unable to turn over these provisions, and as it’s the impact on GB that is interesting, this is the key point.

  15. Rachel

    I am looking for eleven pledges for
    singer/songwriter/classical guitarists.

    We – well, me, to be fair – have been ignored for too long.

    I am also hoping for a policy announcement with regard to schnoodles – they are delightful little dogs.

  16. Alec
    Thanks for the further clarification. So in this specific case, then if Flybe operate from NI, then State Aid rules would apply, but if they have no NI operation, then they wouldn’t apply?

    Sorry, I misgrasped what you wrote originally.

    SDA
    Yes fair do’s, about Glasgow/Edinburgh re: HS2. Then I suggest they ought to have started in the Northern Midlands ie, York, Manchester, or Leeds.

    I understand the benefit of the scheme of freeing up capacity on the existing network, which is why I have always been supportive of the scheme. I’m less sure now because of the general incompetence of the people doing the delivering, especially the cost estimators who seem particularly incompetent.

  17. BS – I am hoping that it is more like ’87 and we get Starmer is Kinnock #2 we can close the gap in 24 and win in 28/9.

  18. R&D

    Agreed about candidates soliciting the votes of schnoodles (or even their pet humans).

    Loudly proclaiming that they are “very pretty rabbits” tends to be counter-productive.

  19. I think Lisa Nandy’s strategy is to get the second pref votes from The others. That way she can come up on the inside rail and win. Obviously she needs some 1st prefs as well but her performance against Brillo was impressive. Confident, lack of waffle etc. And not intimidated by him either. If I was a labour voter I’d be voting for her. As a Tory, I’m hoping RLB wins though.

  20. Surely, as it’s in fashion, there have to be 10 vegan pledges and I can draft 10 for tall, balding septugenarians with bad knees.

  21. I see Lisa Nandy is getting a lot of stick for things that people imagine she said (or maybe wished she has said). What is actually was is:

    AN: It’s hard to see a route back for your party without a revival in Scotland. You proposed setting up an international commission to look for historical examples of how nationalism has been beaten by social justice, what are you talking about?

    LN: You sound really confused by this.

    AN: I am.

    LN: And I’m surprised. Because you surely must have been watching as socialists have been beaten over and over again by nationalists. And the idea that we have all the answers in the Labour Party, I’m sorry, there isn’t a single person who believes that. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with saying that rather than turn inwards and argue about resources we should look outwards to other countries and other parts of the world, where they’ve had to deal with divisive nationalism and seek to discover the lessons from when in those brief moments in history in places like Catalonia and Quebec we have managed to go and beat narrow, divisive nationalism with a social justice agenda.

    AN: But the Scottish nationalists will tell you that they believe their kind of nationalism, which isn’t a hard right nationalism, their kind of nationalism goes hand in hand with social justice.

    LN: Well, I think it suits the Scottish nationalists actually to keep this argument going about independence. Because while the entire conversation in Scotland is focussed on the constitution, nobody is paying attention to their record, which is frankly appalling.

    ——-

    I understand she is referring to the victory of the Citizens Party in the 2017 Catalan Regional election. It seems a perfectly sensible idea to try and learn how they did that.

  22. Hal

    Yep. I listened to her in that interview, and your transcript is cottect.

    However, she made no reference in that interview to the C’s performance in 2017. They did make progress – but at the expense of the People’s Party. Pro-independence parties retained their majority.

    Since then the Spanish Socialists have continued their repression of Catalonia.

    Whoever told you that story to soften Nandy’s foolishness seems to be as badly informed about Spain and Catalonia as Nandy herself.

    “It seems a perfectly sensible idea to try and learn how they did that.”

    Well, not being so pathetically insular as not to have been follow politics within the Kingdom of Spain would have been a good start!

    Ian Murray’s plea to Labour’s leadership candidates not to be so ludicrously ignorant was required.

  23. The Momentum vanguard in Starmer’s own seat has openly attacked him:-

    Basedon on our experience, we do not trust him to follow through on these [hard left] gestures and warm words…”

    “He has built a team around him that has worked tirelessly to marginalise the left within the CLP, yet now he calls for an end to “factionalism”…”

    “Starmer abstained on the welfare bill that forced poverty on the poorest, mostly women…”

    “His history says what we need to know about his political instincts.”

    http://camdennewjournal.com/article/camden-momentum-urges-labour-party-members-not-to-back-keir-starmers-leadership-bid

  24. I note that in the Holyrood Parliamentary Bureau (where each party has one vote) SLD voted with SCon and SLab to haul down the European flag at the end of the month, to outvote SNP and SGP.

    Hopefully, this will be brought back to the full Parliament so that the decision can be reversed.

    The circle of stars on a blue background is the European flag, not just the EU flag, and Johnson’s Tories have not (yet) dragged us out of the Council of Europe.

    SLD, I’m afraid, are primarily UK Unionists, not European Unionists.

  25. Hal

    Sorry, but I read through the transcripts too. What I also did was that I read through her campaign speeches, interviews, articles. She is is a an English nationalist philistine. She is against any kind of socialism, she is a rescuer of the losers (Messiah). She should be expelled from the Labour Party for that interview as the interview contradicted quite a bit of the current Clause 4 of the rule book, that is she rejected the values of the Labour Party.

  26. So – RLB’s big idea is to hold rallys.

    Hmmm.

    Getting less impressed by the day.

  27. Alex

    I think RLBs big idea was to ride Angela Rayner’s coat tails to the leadership. But the power brokers had other ideas and combined with Starmer to hijack her running mate. Brilliant political manoeuvre, everywhere I see people talking about the Starmer/Rayner ticket. I should imagine theres some conversation going on between the two women

  28. @Oldnat

    Murray’s words sound almost Nat-esc. “Don’t come up here talking ignorance” etc.

    So to recap, one party of UK governance desperate to ignore Scotland’s political inclinations, short of refusing powers and telling them ‘No’, and one potential party of UK government where it’s only Scottish MP has to lecture the rest on how to talk.

    Could have been Indy for almost 4 years now. Imagine the high speed rail we could have had. :D

  29. Somerjohn,
    “You appear to be saying that trying to spread economic activity to the regions has to stop.”

    No. Just that commuting has to stop. If it does, then concentrations of activity such as london will be forced to disperse. Rather than commuting allowing activity in the regions, it allows activity to be all in one place.

    Robertinnewark,
    “In effect then, what you are saying is that there remains one rule for our German masters, (who are within the EU,) who have dictated that German law trumps EU law and another for the U.K. (who will be outside the EU), but whose National law remains subservient to EU law? If true, you really couldn’t make it up.”

    As a member of the EU, EU law in Britain is imply UK law which has been written to accord with a standard all the members have agreed. Its power comes from an act of the westminster parliament. Similarly in germany. Both countries remain sovereign.

    The problem with the withdrawal agreement is it does say that at least in certain circumstances, the Uk agrees to be bound by EU law in perpetuity.

    The WA is somewhat akin to the act of the scottish parliament which dissolved itself and transferred its authority to westminster.

    ” I need to question your assertion that it is the intention such rules will apply to the rest of the U.K.”

    Who knows what the intention is or was. Its what it says which matters.

    Pete B,
    “On your National Sovereignty index I would change the last 3 numbers to 7 3 7 ”

    In terms of its own resources, the UK has to be worse off in sovereignty terms now if it departs the EU than before it joined. Simply because we have dismantled all the trading and treaty arrangements we had at that time in favour of EU ones. These cannot be restored.

    The rationale for increasing our sovereignty while a member is because membership largely gives us control over the policies of the EU, which will always be our most important trading partner.

    Brilliant Smith,
    “Starting to.feel very 1983 ish .Thatcher transforms Tories on back of Falklands war.aka as Brexit”

    The difference is that Thatcher delivered a victory at the Falklands. It could have turned out very differently for her had Argentina won that war, which they could have done given a bit of luck. Simply leaving the EU is not a victory: it is what happens next which will determine whether it was a good or bad move, and therefore how voters will judge it.

    Robertinnewark,
    “Thanks for the further clarification. So in this specific case, then if Flybe operate from NI, then State Aid rules would apply, but if they have no NI operation, then they wouldn’t apply?”

    That might be an optimistic interpretation. Suppose some EU airline does operate from N. Ireland to the UK. It has to compete with another airline inside the UK which gets a subsidy. This would disadvantage the EU airline operating in N. Ireland because of cross subsidy. I imagine that would be unlawful.

    The risk has to be that any economic activity in N. Ireland might be at a disadvantage because it does not enjoy some condition which applies in mainland UK, and that would be unlawfull.

  30. Statgeek

    Auchtermuchty to Brig o’ Doon!!! LOL

  31. Danny: No. Just that commuting has to stop.

    That’s odd, because my post wasn’t about commuting, but about the ability of businesses based in one region to do business in another.

  32. ALEC
    One to pay attention to – https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2020/jan/16/the-case-for-truly-taking-back-control-by-reversing-the-privatisation-of-our-cities

    This is a movement that has been growing for some time, and as the article says, is part of the backlash against neol!beralism following the 2008 crash. Again, it’s another example of how the Thatcher/Reagan policy prognosis has been overturned, and it offers substantial hope to political parties with a more municipal and left leaning mindset.

    You are scraping the barrel Alec

  33. Interesting tweet on Nandy’s comments – https://twitter.com/msm_monitor/status/1217825722229764096

    (and see one reply – someone in Somerset thinks ‘rampant nationalism’ should be eradicated…that doesn’t sound at all nice, does it)

    @SDA

    Auchtermuchty is only 15 minutes away. Sign me up. Maybe extend beyond Brig ‘o Doon, down to Stranraer, and on to Ireland. Fife to Dublin at 200 mph would be about 90 minutes. Great stuff! :D

  34. Statgeek

    Murray’s desperate plea to his English colleagues reminds me of Mundell’s desperate plea to his English colleagues not to fly into Scotland, make a speech and fly out again without answering any questions.

    Both were ignored by those they tried to advise. You would think that Scots Unionists would have learned by now ,,,,

  35. PATRICKBRIAN
    I’ve signed up for my supporter’s vote…. Don’t know who I’ll vote for yet, but Long Bailey seems unlikely unless she ups her game as a communicator very substantially. Does she think Momentum votes will be enough? And will Momentum members( who seem to include a lot of intelligent individuals) really go for the block vote thing after the ridiculous consultation? I wonder how many ‘supporters’ have signed up – enough to make any difference?

    My opinion at the moment (very open to change) is that Long Bailey, Nandy and Phillips all have something to offer, but are really still too inexperienced to take on the intensely complex task of leading Labour out of the mire. Starmer looks the best bet for that, though I have a healthy respect for Thornberry too .

    from a Tory perspective choosing Jiang Qing as the next labour leader rather than John Le Mesurier would be preferable. Boris won’t have much trouble seeing off Qing, Hattie Jacques, Dawn French or Jennifer Saunders

  36. @Somerjohn – didn’t answer your point re regional flting, but yes, it’s a problem.

    I guess I might make the case that air travel is effectively subsidised in many ways through zero fuel tax and other incentives for short haul flights and airport development, but I can’t offer a solution that means no one would be discomfited. We simply have to fly a lot less, and that means some sacrifices must be made. If it means a business struggles to complete for work in another region, then that work won’t be lost to the economy, as someone more local will be able to do it but it would mean disruption in terms of reorganising work patterns.

  37. Somerjohn,
    “That’s odd, because my post wasn’t about commuting, but about the ability of businesses based in one region to do business in another.”

    Then you are making a case that a compay should be allowed to trade in a wide geographic area in a way which is reliant upon regular long distance travel. Maybe that isnt quite the usual definition of commuting, but it is still basically a business model reliant on regular long distance travel. Which is the problem bit.

    The problem we face is that commuting has a pollution cost which is not being recognised and paid for by the commuters. If those companies can still operate profitably after covering the pollution cost of their doing business, well great.

    So when do we start imposing a distance freight tax on imported/transported goods?

  38. Statgeek

    A sprightly young chap like yourself could probably walk from Ayr Station to the Brig O’Doon in around 50 minutes.

    Of course, an HS172 line could take you directly there – though Burns’ Cottage might have to knocked down to build the line. (Nandy would probably approve of removing a memorial to one promoting “divisive nationalism”)

  39. Three short vid from the Senedd regarding working of Clause 38 of the WA:

    https://twitter.com/mimosacymru/status/1217399676309209090

    In other words, it could potentially take Scottish sovereignty from the people of Scotland, and put it into the UK Government.

    Taking back control? Control (consent) that was never granted, and never will be. This won’t end well.

  40. Shevii @ 4.03pm

    It`s been my turn to have been busy, out at choir practice, but I will try a short reply now. And hopefully I won`t upset the majority here who are not very bothered about Scottish wildcats.

    My answer to your key question on why should the cats be now in forests is that only these places give them protection from their main problem in Scotland – mating with domestic or feral cats. It needs a big forest a considerable distance from houses because the wildcats can have ranges maybe 5 km across (sorry for not being exact, but a) there isn`t much data and b) it needs time to dig it out.)

    So only forests like Clashidarroch (5740 ha) and Abernethy are nowadays suitable in Scotland.

    On the extent of open ground that provides rabbits, mice, voles for cat food, I think you are worrying unnecessarily. At 15% of Clash`s 5740 ha that comes to 761 ha, and it`s spread across the forest in felling blocks averaging say 8 ha. So open vegetated ground will be in a 100 places, and providing millions of voles, and thousands of rabbits.

    Also on logging Wildcat Haven are totally exaggerating. In a year only 2-2.5 % of the area will be affected, and it`s largely bare ground, so not much used by the cats. If logging stopped, the forest would lose its open ground as natural regeneration would occur, and in a few years the forest would become unsuitable for wildcats.

    I would recommend you to read Wildcat Action`s info, and support them:

  41. Statgeek

    I saw that contribution from Carwyn Jones on the possible implications of Section 38 of the Withdrawal Bill.

    It would be interesting to get the views of constitutional lawyers (they will inevitably vary!) as to whether the inclusion of UK Parliamentary sovereignty is mere “constitutional graffiti” or potentially meaningful as to how courts determine decisions.

  42. Shevii

    http://www.scottishwildcataction.org/

    Here`s the link – off to bed now,

  43. Shevii

    http://www.scottishwildcataction.org/

    Here`s the link – off to bed now,

  44. Someone mentioned the new farm bill. I had a look at some articles and noticed a concentration on protecting the land. Funny thing is, the old EU scheme used to have a whole raft of conditions about good practice for land management, especially in the winter (as mentioned about the new stuff), and had escalting sanctions where you would be denied the subsidy if you did not follow best practice.

    Similarly, overuse of nitrate fertilisers is also currently monitored and controlled. What is not in the bill, would seem to be bans on imported chlorinated chicken or animals raised in lower welfare standards than in the UK. An irony that the EU was attacked for not imposing universal high welfare standards, despite the fact it has been slowly introducing these not least at UK insistence, but now we have more choice ourselves to decide such things….we choose to abandon them.

    A proportion of money under the old scheme was paid for land management measures (such as protecting hedges) rather than simply owning land. We had the choice to vary the amount directed at management rather than ownership, and our failure to divert more into management in the past has been the subject of complaints in the media. So if this bill does more of that now, it isnt anything we could not have done before. And as I said, the EU subsidy on land ownership already came with complex rules designed to enforce best practice.

    All this might prove irrelevant, since the government still does not commit to maintaining the subsidy at all beyond 3 years, so is in effect reserving the right to abolish it as quickly as it can wean farmers off it.

  45. Someone mentioned the new farm bill. I had a look at some articles and noticed a concentration on protecting the land. Funny thing is, the old EU scheme used to have a whole raft of conditions about good practice for land management, especially in the winter (as mentioned about the new stuff), and had escalting sanctions where you would be denied the subsidy if you did not follow best practice.

    Similarly, overuse of nitrate fertilisers is also currently monitored and controlled. What is not in the bill, would seem to be bans on imported chlorinated chicken or animals raised in lower welfare standards than in the UK. An irony that the EU was attacked for not imposing universal high welfare standards, despite the fact it has been slowly introducing these not least at UK insistence, but now we have more choice ourselves to decide such things….we choose to abandon them.

    A proportion of money under the old scheme was paid for land management measures (such as protecting hedges) rather than simply owning land. We had the choice to vary the amount directed at management rather than ownership, and our failure to divert more into management in the past has been the subject of complaints in the media. So if this bill does more of that now, it isnt anything we could not have done before. And as I said, the EU subsidy on land ownership already came with complex rules designed to enforce best practice.

    All this might prove irrelevant, since the government still does not commit to maintaining the subsidy at all beyond 3 years, so is in effect reserving the right to abolish it as quickly as it can wean farmers off it.

    The bottom line here might be less environmental control. The EU subsidy has always been a carrot approach to encourage farmers to use best practice so as to qualify for the subsidy. I suggested in the past that post brexit we might see voters switching to a new cause, and it might be the greens. These changes might end up pushing voters their way.

  46. Thats odd, double postes but second version has a extra paragraph at the end. The punchline, that this might be an opening for the greens.

  47. OLDNAT

    “Perhaps you have a fetish about the Reliant Robin or Tamworth pigs? – in which case a veil is best left drawn over such matters.”

    If you don’t understand how anti-English you are I would be amazed. Having made my point, happy to leave it there.

  48. DANNY
    “Who knows what the intention is or was. Its what it says which matters.”

    That’s not really true. The CJEU applies a strongly purposive approach to interpretation of EU law. One that sits very uneasily at times with those of us from the common law tradition.

    The intention of the parties, the statements surrounding the agreement, the negotiations and the travaux preparatoires generally, and the changes over the previous texts and stated policy reasons for them, will all matter far more than they would in the English tradition.

    And on the flip side unintended consequences of bad drafting or legerdemain by one party are less likely to be effective.

    That said, I think it’s clear that the specific provisions under discussion are purposefully applied to rUK, and not an unintended consequence of bad drafting or legerdemain by one party. so it’s academic on the specifics.

  49. Danny

    “In terms of its own resources, the UK has to be worse off in sovereignty terms now if it departs the EU than before it joined. Simply because we have dismantled all the trading and treaty arrangements we had at that time in favour of EU ones.”

    The above has nothing to do with sovereignty, you are misusing the word. The following definition might help:

    “Sovereignty is the full right and power of a governing body over itself, without any interference from outside sources or bodies. In political theory, sovereignty is a substantive term designating supreme authority over some polity.”

    By any measure we are regaining substantial sovereignty as we leave the EU.

  50. Statgeek

    According to Google that trip currently takes over 4 hours by rail and I’d guess it would be an hour by high speed line and beat the car’s 2 hours.

    I guess the line should run Aberdeen to Stranraer as a first step. It could then serve main conurbations like Dundee, Perth, Stirling, Glasgow and Ayr, taking a couple of hours end to end compared to current 5 plus hours.

    Talking of commuting I think that these days there are lots of jobs like my last one. Specialist HR adviser, visiting lots of sites all over the country to conduct face to face counselling sessions with individual members of staff. It could be done via phone, video link or by site based staff (if they exist), but the ‘quality’ of the experience would likely be reduced. We existed ‘because we could’ get about. If business were forced to reduce such travel it might have quite unexpected effects on them. Maybe good, maybe bad.

    I certainly came across quite a few ‘wandering’ HR staff from other businesses in my myriad train trips all over the place. Goodness knows how many others were flying or tramping the motorways.

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