Sky News have released a new YouGov poll of Labour party members and affiliated supporters for the leadership election. First preferences for leader stand at STARMER 53%, LONG BAILEY 31%, NANDY 16%. While on these figures Starmer would narrowly win on first preferences anyway, if you reallocate Nandy’s votes the final preferences would be STARMER 66%, LONG BAILEY 34%.

Compared to the previous YouGov poll conducted in January Long Bailey’s support is almost unchanged, while Nandy and Starmer are up 8 and 7 points respectively, presumably largely due to picking up the preferences of those who previously supported Jess Philips or Emily Thornberry. This is the first poll to include voters from affiliated trade unionists – Starmer’s support is slightly higher among affiliates than full members, increasing his lead slightly.

Looking through the demographic breakdowns Starmer leads among all age groups, among both men and women, and across all regions (though his lead is bigger in the South than the North, and bigger among older members). The most notable demographic difference continues to be in terms of social grade, with Starmer only having a lead of 4 points among C2DE respondents. The other interesting, if not wholly surprising difference is by length of membership – those people who joined the Labour party during Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership are more likely to support Rebecca Long Bailey, those who joined before 2015 or have joined since the 2019 election are far more likely to support Starmer.

The poll also suggests a clear winner in the deputy leadership contest. First round preferences are RAYNER 47%, BURGON 19%, ALLIN-KHAN 13%, BUTLER 12%, MURRAY 9%, with RAYNER likely to pass the fifty-percent mark once Ian Murray’s votes are redistributed. Redistributing all the votes would give a final round of RAYNER 73%, BURGON 27%.

Full tables are here.


1,735 Responses to “YouGov poll of Labour members shows Starmer & Rayner ahead”

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  1. Braga 0 Rangers 1 (4-2 aggregate)!!!

    As a Celtic fan I have to say a great result for the Gers and I am delighted for them.

    Having said that if we beat Copenhagen tomorrow and draw them in the last 16 or later, I hope we gib them!

    Peter.

  2. So much for the MoS’s “private polling” and PB’s betting analysis – if YG is correct.

    While the 4% of Lab members/affiliates in Scotland won’t have any significant effect on who English Labour pick as their leadership, those interested in Scottish politics should give their choices a glance.

    That 42% support Ian Murray as Dep Leader is, one would imagine, largely similar to TV game show voting (or US Presidential polls), where folk frequently vote for their local guy – knowing full well they won’t win.

    That 55% of them endorse the view that “The next labour leader needs to change the policies and direction of the party” may concern attitudes at Westminster to Scots indy, or simply reflect that the rump of SLab is older, and more conservative than their fellow members in England.

  3. Oh well, since no one seems interested (one can understand why) in who will next lead E&W Lab to defeat, it’s good to note that the Scottish Budget will pass, after the SGP secured concessions from the Government.

    In Scottish Budget negotiations, there is a requirement that opposition proposals for additional spending must include proposals for funding them.

    Partly, that’s a bit of a smokescreen, as every Finance Secretary keeps back some resources to fund acceptable suggestions. [1]

    Personally, I’m delighted that the SGP proposal to fund free bus travel for under 19s as happens with over 60s, has been accepted.

    [1] The “found down the back of the sofa” monies – including underspends from the previous year.

  4. More detail on the Scottish Budget (which can still be derailed by whatever the UK chooses to do) – including the whining from the Unionist parties here

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-51644373

  5. I am surprised at how much Starmer is crushing RLB I would have thought it would be much closer.

    It make for and interesting debate about how much power momentum really have since it does not seem to be helping her

    Raynor is not a surprise she has a good story and is seen as quite popular

  6. There’s an interesting comparison to be made with the first Labour leadership poll by YouGov in December, when there were 6 candidates. Starmer, Long-Bailey and Nandy have all gained support (at least in part from Lewis, Phillips and Thornberry dropping out), but Starmer has gained most.

    Starmer 36% in Dec, 53% in Feb (+17)
    RLB 23% in Dec, 31% in Feb (+8)
    Nandy 6% in Dec, 16% in Feb (+10)

    https://yougov.co.uk/topics/politics/articles-reports/2020/01/02/keir-starmer-comfortably-leads-labour-leader-race

    I’m sure that there was some polling suggesting that Rayner would win the deputy leadership on the first ballot, too. If this is so, then she appears to have lost ground, even if she’s on course to win on the second or third ballot.

  7. I hope Starmer won’t think he needs to offer Burgon a job, however junior.

  8. I hope Starmer won’t think he needs to offer Burgon a job, however junior.

  9. Meanwhile, in the world of real revolutionaries –

    Today is octidi 8 Ventôse in the year of the Republic CCXXVIII, celebrating the violet.

  10. @OLDNAT

    That 42% support Ian Murray as Dep Leader is, one would imagine, largely similar to TV game show voting (or US Presidential polls), where folk frequently vote for their local guy – knowing full well they won’t win.

    That 55% of them endorse the view that “The next labour leader needs to change the policies and direction of the party” may concern attitudes at Westminster to Scots indy, or simply reflect that the rump of SLab is older, and more conservative than their fellow members in England.

    I imagine the two factors could overlap considerably? Those who are left in SLab and are engaged enough to be voting in this election and answering polling questions on it, might they be disproportionately likely to be people in or with ties to the Edinburgh area who are loyal to Murray personally because of his role in footballing matters? Or possibly people with no direct connection but who recognise him has someone who put his money on the line to save an institution of Scottish culture and thus a guy worth a vote in a contest that doesn’t matter much anyway?

    Asking particularly cos one Geoffrey Robinson was my MP for many years :-)

  11. “Meanwhile, in the world of real revolutionaries –

    Today is octidi 8 Ventôse in the year of the Republic CCXXVIII, celebrating the violet.”
    @oldnat February 26th, 2020 at 11:27 pm

    No idea what you’re on about, and then it dawned on me (he l1ed :-):

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Republican_calendar

    This site’s always a mine of information. Ta for that.

  12. “I hope Starmer won’t think he needs to offer Burgon a job, however junior.”
    @RosieandDaisie February 26th, 2020 at 11:21 pm

    He could give him a job that sends him (really) deep up the Amazon.

  13. EOR

    I’m not sure I’d describe Hearts FC as “an institution of Scottish culture”, but the Lodge component within SLab might see it that way.

    As I suggested, it’s probably much more a feature of tribalism that “you have to support ‘one of us’ ” while simultaneously believing that “we” aren’t best placed to take the decisions about “us”, which are better taken by “them”.

    That matches well with the SLab concept that Scotland is best served by MPS from rUK deciding matters at Westminster, yet those MPs must make decisions on Scotland’s constitutional status that are determined by SLab, and not by those rUK MPs.

    They seem to be confused wee souls, with a somewhat overweening sense of their own importance.

  14. @OLDNAT

    I’m not sure I’d describe Hearts FC as “an institution of Scottish culture”, but the Lodge component within SLab might see it that way.

    I don’t think you have to be in a Lodge to see a major football club as part of the national culture. I haven’t run the numbers but I suspect broadly similar numbers of people go to SPL football matches each week as even belong to political parties in Scotland let alone exert any effort or cost in supporting them.

    The idea that, as I referenced from my experience in Coventry, a figure seen as the saviour of the local football club could enjoy prolonged electoral support outside of other political parameters doesn’t need any conspiratorial silliness to make it real.

  15. I’m surprised there isnt a breakdown based on attitudes to Brexit.

  16. @PRINCESS RACHEL

    It is disappointing that the polls are in many ways so light it appears that they do not go deep enough in any subject and we often need papers to attempt to understand many issues properly

    What I have found is that unless a policy issue is deemed far reaching it is not really cover well at all

    But speculating I would have thought those form the left behind towns would have supported Nandy, but remember the membership was close to 90% remain.

    I also watched a item with Kinnock the younger and his wife and their view on what should have happened. Their obvious conclusion was unsurprising in that they believed that labour should have negotiated a brexit deal but I think part of the problem of Brexit is that basically I cannot see a compromise that would get a deal that remainers and leavers would agree to.

    I think whoever wins has a tough battle ahead. It was interesting that Nandy was trying to convince one of her constituients about nationalisation of raiways and could not persuade the person meanwhile I believe the Company that ran the contract in her area has given the franchise back and it in public hands again

    I do agree that it needs to be grassroots engagement but the left behind town have less social cohesion than the successful ones and I think that is long process

  17. I see that if Corbyn was standing, the poll says he would still come a respectable second. Amongst women, very close to Starmer (10% more women going for Corbyn compared to men) . 50% say continue same policies as under Corbyn, 44% for changing – but presumably the direction of change would be very mixed.

    Wouldnt say this indicates much inclination to change direction.

    Oldnat,
    ” I’m delighted that the SGP proposal to fund free bus travel for under 19s as happens with over 60s, has been accepted.”

    There must be a possibility that if you get people in the habit of using buses because they are free, they will continue to use them even when they arent?

    Passtherockplease,
    “I am surprised at how much Starmer is crushing RLB I would have thought it would be much closer.”

    Respectable middle class white man. Dose it for the voters

    Princess Rachel,
    “I’m surprised there isnt a breakdown based on attitudes to Brexit.”

    Good point. Although I dont know how much candidates have campained on this issue, so whether there would be much to distinguish the candidates if you are either a remainer or leaver?

  18. Passtherockplease,
    “I do agree that it needs to be grassroots engagement but the left behind town have less social cohesion than the successful ones and I think that is long process”

    Brexit divisions have a very long way to run yet. IF…government can make a success of it or an outcome not too obviously worse, then it will die down to a baseline rejoin block in the same way we had a baseline leave block. But if it keeps going badly there will be a huge rejoin movement and backlash.

  19. Brexiteers: “The PD isn’t legally binding and therefore we don’t have to implement it!”

    Also Brexiteers: “The EU Referendum isn’t legally binding but you must absolutely implement it!”

    Can’t even argue about mandates, because the GE mandate covers the PD.

  20. Just out of interest, we have carried out our own poll of Labour Party members down here in Clacton Brexitland, which partly includes an exit poll as some people have already voted.

    This shows RLB 90%; Starmer 10%; Nandy 0%.

    Just saying…..

  21. From Labours point of view, Starmer/Rayner is the best result they could hope for, given the choice available. From my point of view, the dream ticket was RLB and Burgon but that was never going to happen.

    Starmer made a good call to avoid the virtue signalling by not signing that pledge denying the basics of science and biology. RLB and Nandy both jumped on what they thought was a populist bandwagon. They should have realised that allowing six foot two Kevin access to the ladies loos, just because he wears a dress on a Thursday, is the kind of illogical posturing that has driven former Labour voters in the red wall seats away. That may well have swung votes Starmers way.

    It will be interesting to see (assuming he wins) what Starmer really stands for, when he becomes his own man. Will he continue with the extremist policies of McDonell and Corbyn, or will he be more Blairite and inclusive in his approach?

  22. @ROBERTNEWARK

    There are not much blairites left and paradoxically I believe blairism concentration on education is one of the bigger causes of the left behind and yes it is also a big success which is why we have the middle class areas being the places that labour did better (essentially people believe they are successful because of access to education as an example)

    Essentially you end up with areas where the young and skilled leave the area leaving older and less skilled and less well educated cohort and thus business have less incentive to move there and less incentive to invest. These spiral out of control.

    I think Nandy has the right idea but I suspect the government funds for localism is not going to happen we are a very centralised nation with limited powers and money at lowest levels of government

    The problem is not just North versus South but I read a report which did the same comparison I have done comparing Bristol North West with Walsall, but comparing Oldham and Altrincham you see the same demographics and issue, If you had the question where would want to invest your money you end up choosing Bristol over Walsall and Altrincham over Oldham. Funnily this is thatcherism at work…….

  23. @ALEC

    David Allen Green (a leaver no less) thinks the same

    https://twitter.com/davidallengreen/status/1232934339031293952

    I keep saying that the inconsistency is the thing that will force everyone down the rabbit hole of WTO

    It is not that we cannot get a deal it is that any deal will have the sort of inconsistencies that hard to explain and we are pretty much in a no compromise zone we are in the who can we throw under the bus zone for many things

    For example UK fishermen have been told they will get fishing right back (even thought these same quota right were sold to other EU fishermen) so either the EU throws frances fishermen under the bus or the UK does and I accept in reality there is a compromise but I believe because of the promises made the landing zone is not going to be easy to sell politically and economically

    BUT in fairness the EU referendum was sold on a set of premises which everyone is now unsure of what it means

  24. @PRTP – yes, I think DAG sums it up nicely –

    “In effect: the UK is sending a signal of “don’t trust us, insist on strict legal obligations”

    And this signal is not just being sent to EU – the signal is now being broadcast to every nation in world

    All the countries where, post-Brexit, UK may want to have “trade agreements”

    UK may think it is saying to EU “screw you” but in fact it is telling the world “screw us”

    “Brexit was an opportunity for the UK to show the world how serious it was about having an independent trade policy

    Instead, the UK keeps showing the world how lacking in seriousness it is in entering international commitments”

  25. @DANNY

    Brexit divisions have a very long way to run yet. IF…government can make a success of it or an outcome not too obviously worse, then it will die down to a baseline rejoin block in the same way we had a baseline leave block. But if it keeps going badly there will be a huge rejoin movement and backlash.

    In truth most people argument about remain was the economic pain that we would suffer was not worth it compared to the shared sovereignty and extra power that sovereignty would have.

    We can point to Ireland and Border issue as a country leveraging that share sovereignty and soft power way beyond the country’s size however Leavers in the main want sovereignty and more importantly reject that the EU amplifies their power since by and large much of our presentation of relationships have not changed since the WWII.

    So how do you sell a nuanced message that you give up a little of this and get back a lot of that. I think that the nuance is out of politics which is why I fear for the fact that whilst I am in favour of infrastructure spending as an example. It is not infrastructure spending alone that boosts economic activity it is part of a foundation of things that does this which include investment in education, technology and R&D and the like

    So the leveling up is much more complex and nuanced and it is not clear

  26. @Robert Newark – agree with you on Starmer and virtue signalling. I was still wondering who to support, and that tipped my vote in his favour.

    As Blair says, if the left disappears down the culture wars route, then they will lose. You need to support the rights of minorities in a way that doesn’t disconnect you from the majorities.

  27. Rachel

    “I’m surprised there isnt a breakdown based on attitudes to Brexit.”

    There is a breakdown in the Tables published by YouGov which includes Brexit vote, but of course the Leave sample is very small (just 164) as Labour members overwhelmingly voted Remain – close to 90%.

    It’s also one area where RLB has a lead over Starmer in the first ballot, but the 164 Leavers then divide almost 50:50 between Starmer and Long Bailey once Nandy’s votes are reallocated.

  28. @PTRP

    Thanks for the reminder of Danny’s comment: “But if it keeps going badly there will be a huge rejoin movement and backlash.”

    I don’t see much of a backlash even if , as I expect, things go badly.

    First, we have in the past settled quite comfortably into a narrative of relative decline and I expect we will do so again.

    Second, there will be plenty of others to blame: the EU for not giving us everything we want; the rest of the world for inexplicably failing to give us one-sidedly beneficial trade deals; the machinations of global capitalism; Covid-19.

    Third, I think there is a masochistic streak in our national psyche that rather enjoys the backs-to-the-wall; everybody hates us; very well: alone; keep calm and carry on mindset. We rather like being embattled, I suspect.

    It all rather reminds me of Cuba, which bravely asserted its sovereignty, threw off the shackles of domination by its big bad neighbour and struck out alone, only to become reliant on another, albeit distant, big bad power. Probably not a comparator that brexiteers will welcome.

  29. VP Mike Pence to be Covid-19 Tzar!

    Great, we need a Science based response and they appoint someone who doesn’t even believe in Dinosaurs!

    Peter.

  30. @PTRP

    “So how do you sell a nuanced message that you give up a little of this and get back a lot of that. I think that the nuance is out of politics which is why I fear for the fact that whilst I am in favour of infrastructure spending as an example. It is not infrastructure spending alone that boosts economic activity it is part of a foundation of things that does this which include investment in education, technology and R&D and the like”

    ————-

    Well quite. Problem is there are quite a lot of these nuances and it’s difficult to identify them all, process them all, and weigh them all against each other. It’s made even harder by some aspects being open to change in the future, some being uncertain.

    Many who think others aren’t coping with the nuances, aren’t necessarily coping with them all themselves. They may artificially screen bits out on some pretext that doesn’t necessarily wash.

    Go back pre-financial crash, and I was a pretty staunch Remainer. But I hadn’t begun to consider it properly really. The EU version of Austerity shook me, and had me more open to considering other aspects. I still don’t feel I have a proper picture. In a complex system, the more you dig, the more you find, pros and cons. More nuance doesn’t necessarily solve the problem.

    If you don’t identify some killer aspect that overshadows the rest, more nuance can just complicate things without a resolution.

  31. “Great, we need a Science based response and they appoint someone who doesn’t even believe in Dinosaurs!
    Peter.”

    ———

    Have you seen any dinosaurs lately?

  32. PTRP
    “ There are not much blairites left and paradoxically I believe blairism concentration on education is one of the bigger causes of the left behind and yes it is also a big success which is why we have the middle class areas being the places that labour did better (essentially people believe they are successful because of access to education as an example)”

    Ok maybe blairite is the wrong term to use, but unless Labour regain the mindset of appealing to the centre ground and that they will only ever be re elected if they are able to gain Conservative and LD voters, they will never see government again.

    It’s interesting to see the US possibly heading a similar way, with it looking very possible that the Democrats could elect Bernie Corbyn (joke) as their candidate. The only difference being in whether you spend billions or trillions. Trump must be laughing his socks off.

  33. “ Have you seen any dinosaurs lately?”

    Chickens … ?

    https://www.cbc.ca/kidscbc2/the-feed/5-animals-with-prehistoric-ancestors

  34. “Chickens … ?”

    ———

    Not exactly Jurassic Park is it.

  35. SOMERJOHN

    So we have moved on from WW2 Comics to Cuba now !

    What next-Tibet-The Kingdom of Hawaii?

    When it comes to “masochistic streaks” I think you are in a class of your own !!!

  36. @ Colin

    Well, as I said, I don’t expect brexiteers to welcome the comparison with Cuba. Any more than they appear to like the suggestion that children growing up in the 1950s might have been influenced by the prevailing playground ethic. Or that pro-brexit feelings may be based more in emotions than rational analysis.

    As one of that generation’s iconic sitcoms had it: “They don’t like it up ’em!”

    But can you suggest another example of a small island nation, off the coast of a continent, that chose sovereignty over economic growth? Cuba is surely the pre-eminent example of what can happen when you elevate sovereignty to a guiding principle.

    One salient difference is that pre-revolutionary Cuba was the vassal of the USA, and plaything of the Florida mafia, without any representation or influence, so they actually had a pretty good case for going it alone.

  37. @ROBERTNEWARK

    It’s interesting to see the US possibly heading a similar way, with it looking very possible that the Democrats could elect Bernie Corbyn (joke) as their candidate. The only difference being in whether you spend billions or trillions. Trump must be laughing his socks off.

    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2020/president/us/general_election_trump_vs_sanders-6250.html

    I think his chances are pretty good against Trump. He is leading him in most of the states that Hilary should have won such as PA & MI and he will win places like CO and NV looking at the state polls

    I am not sure it is like Corbyn indeed it is more like Trump if you want a good analogy

  38. Carfrew,

    “ Have you seen any dinosaurs lately?”

    Nope, but then I haven’t seen a commercial Thorium Reactor either but I think someone on here is adamant the science is sound!

    Having said that maybe like Trump you now believe that if you don’t see it with your own eyes all other scientific evidence can be ignored.

    Kind of;

    “Scientists don’t know everything so let’s ignore everything they know!”

    Peter.

  39. @ROBERT NEWARK

    I think the problem the ‘moderates’ in the Labour party have is that they really haven’t any policies that excite anyone as I believe I have said before I went to a husting when Corbyn first got elected and I was surprised that there was no radical solutions form the centre. So before Blair created a vision of a knowledge based society so the movement to services and high end services was seen as key. As a centrist you could argue spending borrowing £30B for social and council housing and still having a portion of right to buys and pointing out that this is a long term asset etc. but no one had a radical idea like that or even the idea of making the minimum wage such that you did not need benefits to survive as an example there are so many examples , devolution for the regions is another example we could have regional assemblies and have less power at Westminster and more money given to reach region to spend as they see fit

    The only argument that ‘moderates’ have is that they are electable and I suspect that they are not unless they have something more to offer.

    In the same way that Anyone But Corbyn failed in the Labour party leadership challenge the anyone but Bernie will fail if thre is not an real alternative that does not say the e smae old same old.

  40. SOMERJOHN

    I don’t think Cuba is remotely to be compared with UK.

    You seem to believe that “Sovereignty” and “Economic Growth” are alternatives-mutually exclusive. I don’t

    Look- you & I have been around this circuit many times.

    You believe that UK’s future is dependent upon membership of the EU. I don’t.

    You believe that the EU’s current model is politically & economically sustainable-which is why you always talk about the UK’s future-and never about the EU’s future . I think the EU model is flawed & vulnerable.

    You seem to believe in the virtue of Geo Political Power Blocs.Your Cuban idea seems to derive from it. I suggest that they have been & are the cause of many of the world’s problems, treating, as they so often do , the consent of the people as inconvenient.

  41. In amusing news, the rather wicked rumour doing the rounds in Whitehall is that Johnson has had to sequester himself in his back-up grace-and-favour mansion because of the shiner the First Mistress gave to him in Mustique when it became evident to her that young Boris had not managed to curb his enthusiasm for straying from the Prime Ministerial bed!

    Hence no visits to beleagured flood victims in the ex ‘red wall’ seats…

  42. @Peter C

    “Nope, but then I haven’t seen a commercial Thorium Reactor either but I think someone on here is adamant the science is sound!

    Having said that maybe like Trump you now believe that if you don’t see it with your own eyes all other scientific evidence can be ignored.”

    —–

    It’s ok, we have solved the problem. We just have to ask him if he’s seen a chicken. Panic over!

  43. EOR

    Whether Hearts is still seen as a “top club” as they languish at the bottom of the Premiership is debatable – other than among their most Loyal supporters.

    Murray’s role in saving Hearts in 2013 was undoubtedly a factor in his electoral success in Edinburgh South, but wouldn’t explain the 1st preference votes he gets from SLab members elsewhere in Scotland for the Deputy Leadership. That phenomenon is much more easily explained.

    It is also not inconceivable that the very reason that so many SLab members choose him, is a factor in why so few E&W Lab members do,

    Murray’s pitch for the post was that “he knew how to win elections”. He doesn’t. He lost much of the traditional Labour support in his constituency but by exploiting a local issue and distancing himself from the party he was standing for, was able to capture most of the very large LD vote.

    There may be other constituencies in E&W where such an approach might work, but it appears that Lab members in England are unconvinced by his appeal, although Blair (naturally) advocates that course.

  44. Danny

    “There must be a possibility that if you get people in the habit of using buses because they are free, they will continue to use them even when they arent?”

    That is certainly the hope that has been expressed. SLab wanted the age raised to 25, but were not willing to explore how that could be funded. It seems a reasonable long term aim to moving to free public transport for all [1] but the funding package needs to be thoroughly worked out.

    For example, such a strategy would require opposition parties to cease their knee jerk rejection to what the SGP had inserted in legislation to allow councils to charge for workplace parking – as is possible, though largely unused, in England.

    [1] I would hope that the next step would be to provide free bus travel for students and apprentices.

  45. Colin: You seem to believe that “Sovereignty” and “Economic Growth” are alternatives-mutually exclusive.

    No. I think that in the real world there is a trade-off between them. At one extreme, countries like Cuba, North Korea and Venezuela pay a high price in reduced GDP for assertively going it alone. At the other, a country like Panama is awash with money as long as it plays the US game (how long would it be before the US marines arrived if a revolutionary government took power? Think Grenada!).

    In the centre sit those countries that are willing to pool some sovereignty in the interests of regional harmony and prosperity.

    Incidentally, you seem to be confusing masochism and pessimism.

    A pessimist says: “This is going to hurt. I really don’t think it’s a good idea. Let’s just stay as we are.”

    A masochist says “A little bit of short term pain never hurt anyone. You’ll love it, just wait and see.”

  46. SOMERJOHN

    @” Cuba, North Korea and Venezuela pay a high price in reduced GDP for assertively going it alone. ”

    You pick an interesting trio-can you think of what really unites them?

    Just of out now-I have read some interesting articles recently on Geo Politics & EU’s position-will look some out for you.

  47. Carfrew,

    “ It’s ok, we have solved the problem. We just have to ask him if he’s seen a chicken. Panic over!”

    That won’t help….he apparently doesn’t believe in Evolution either!

    Peter.

  48. [email protected] re ” Cuba, North Korea and Venezuela pay a high price in reduced GDP for assertively going it alone. ”

    You pick an interesting trio-can you think of what really unites them?

    You are obviously prompting for communism-socialism, but far more interesting is ‘assertively going it alone’. The next few years in the UK will be an interesting experiment in whether assertively going it alone or communism-socialism are the drivers for reducing GDP.

    One would think that anyone of a conservative disposition would be quite averse to making their country subject of such an experiment.

  49. Looks like we are heading for a show down with the EU in June.

    Two responses both focusing on two different things;

    For the EU it’s about Free & Fair Trade.
    For the U.K. it is about Soverignty.

    As I pointed out Yesterday you can’t have both.
    If you want full in restricted access to the single market you can’t have unlimited Sovereignty and if you want full Sovereignty you can’t have open access to the Single Market.

    Right now I’d go for 55% chance of WTO.
    Oh and after that the EU starts to gradually wean itself off the City, starting with U.K. tax havens and then moving on to access for U.K. banks and having rules on EU companies only listing their stocks on EU exchanges.

    It will take a decade but they’ll move banking and financial services over time to within there own borders.

    Peter.

  50. “ Not exactly Jurassic Park is it.”

    Remember the panic over bird flu and the Swan of Cellardyke?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4882946.stm

    Bird flu began, I believe, in chickens.

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