This morning the Communication Workers’ Union released a Survation constituency poll of Hartlepool, the first one we’ve seen (earlier in the campaign figures were released from a Focaldata MRP of the North, but you can’t really use MRP for a by-election – it doesn’t pick up the unique circumstances). Topline figures with changes from the last election were are CON 49%(+20), LAB 42%(+4), NIP 2%(+2), GRN 1%(+1), LD 1%(-3), ReformUK 1%(-25).

I should start by saying that constituency polling is difficult. It is mostly done by telephone and often has small sample sizes (in this case, the sample was 500, but the actual voting figures are based only 302 who gave a response). Its track record has sometimes been patchy. Nevertheless, it’s the best evidence of where the race stands that we are going to get. What can we tell?

The Conservatives are ahead (though the two main parties are within the margin of error for a sample of 302). Compared to the general election the poll suggests an 8 point lead from Lab to Con, significantly better than how the Conservatives are doing in national polls.

It would be extremely unusual for a governing party to gain a seat in a by-election. There have been only two instances in the last fifty years (Copeland in 2017 and Mitcham & Morden in 1982). Few governments poll ahead of their last election performance mid-term anyway, and if anything they do worse than that in by-elections.

The reason the Tories are doing better in Hartlepool than nationwide appears fairly straightforward, and doesn’t offer any obviously transferrable lessons. In Britain as a whole the Brexit party got 2% at the 2019 election. In Hartlepool they got a very healthy 26%. That vote has almost completely vanished, presumably to the benefit of the Conservatives.

As ever, by-elections are extremely unusual beasts that do not necessarily tell much about national politics. Maybe if the actual by-election turns out like this it will be a steer on how other seats with a high level of Brexit party support in 2019 may go… but then, come the actual by-election we’ll have a glut of other data from the local, Scottish, Welsh, Mayoral and London elections due to be held on the same day, so hopefully we won’t be trying to desperately read too much into one single by-election.

Also worth noting that – given this poll was commissioned by the CWU – it also asked about some of the issues that they are concerned about like broadband, Royal Mail privatisation, nurses pay. The answers in Hartlepool were as you’d expect from national polling (people like free stuff & nurses. They don’t like privatisations). It doesn’t tell us anything particularly useful about why Labour aren’t doing better. Don’t assume because the CWU chose to ask about those issues that they are necessarily ones that are driving support in Hartlepool. Maybe people in Hartlepool care more about Corona, or crime, or Brexit, or economic regeneration, or taxes…

Finally, before this poll there was also significant social media buzz about the Northern Independence party having an impact, not least because their candidate is Thelma Walker, a former Labour MP who resigned over the party’s refusal to re-admit Jeremy Corbyn. Realistically a party that hasn’t even been registered yet may be very pleased indeed if they manage to get third place, but nevertheless, the poll suggests they are not significant players here.

UPDATE: The tables for the Survation poll have appeared, and worth adding a further caveat. At the last election the Brexit party got 26% of the vote. Among people who took part in the poll, only 3% recalled voting for the Brexit party. This does not *necessarily* mean its a duff sample – there will undoubtedly be issues of false recall, of people re-aligning their past vote to match with present circumstances (especially since the Brexit party has rebranded itself into ReformUK and no longer exists in its old form), but it should be an extra reason for caution.

Scotland

There were two Scottish Parliament voting intention over the weekend, one from Panelbase, one from Survation. Topline figures are that both show the SNP continuing to cruise towards victory and on the edge of winning a majority. Both show a tight race for second place between the Conservatives and Labour.

However, these were also the first two to measure support for Alex Salmond’s new list only party, Alba. The Panelbase poll showed them at 6%, the Survation poll showed them at 3%. To understand the significance of these we need to explore the nuances of the Scottish Parliament electoral system.

The Scottish Parliament elects members using an additional member system. 73 MSPs are elected in constituencies using first past the post, a further 56 are elected on a proportional regional list system. The regional list seats effectively operate as a “top-up” to the constituency seats already won, so that overall the seats won should be proportional to the list vote. For example, if party A won 6 constituency seats, but got 10% of the list vote, they’d be awarded another 7 list seats so they had 10% of the total seats. It’s more complicated than that because it’s done by region, meaning there is an effective threshold to get any seats at all, but we’ll come to that.

Crucially people cast two votes – you don’t have to cast your constituency vote in the same way as your list vote, you can vote for different parties.

The SNP did extremely well at winning constituencies at the last election (59 out of 73). This meant that that despite winning 42% of the list vote, they didn’t receive many list seats, because they had already won almost their fair share through constituency seats. Compare this to the Scottish Greens – they don’t win any constituency seats (they barely stand), so there is nothing to set against their list vote and their list vote of 7% translates into 6 seats.

Therefore, the Alba argument goes, SNP votes on the regional list are “wasted” votes, that are unlikely to return MSPs. If a significant chunk of SNP voters voted Alba instead, it would return more pro-independence MSPs.

So far, so good. However, because the Scottish system uses regional lists, there’s an effective threshold to get any seats at all (about 5-6%). There is also already a second pro-independence party, the Scottish Greens. That means in practice Alba could have a positive or negative impact on the number of pro-Independence MSPs elected. If they get over 5% in a substantial number of regions, and do so by taking SNP second preferences, rather than taking votes who would otherwise back the Greens, they will increase the next number of pro-independence MSPs. If they get under 6% in most regions, they are unlikely to win any MSPs at all. If they get under 6%, but in doing so, take votes from the Scottish Greens, they could even reduce the the number of pro-independence MSPs.

Hence, in judging the impact of Alba, the thing to look at is the level of Alba and the Scottish Greens in the list vote, and whether each is above or below that threshold of around 5-6%. The two polls so far paint contrasting pictures – in the Survation poll, Alba were at 3% and the Scottish Greens were unchanged at 11%. In the Panelbase poll Alba were at 6%, the Scottish Greens at 8%, again comparable to their showing in previous Panelbase polls.

So in neither case was there any evidence that Alba were cannibalising the pro-independence list vote by taking support from the Greens, but the evidence on whether they’ll actually win seats of their own is unclear. On the Panelbase figures they may well do (John Curtice tentatively projects 6 Alba seats, with a total of 79 pro-Independence MSPs). On the Survation figures they probably wouldn’t, but the SNP and Greens would get 77 pro-Independence MSPs between them anyway.

And that, in itself, maybe underlines the extent to which this matters. As things stand most polls show the SNP getting a majority or getting close to one. Taking the SNP & Scottish Greens together, there will very likely be a majority of pro-Independence MSPs anyway. Whether Alba manage to scramble over the threshold to win some seats or not doesn’t look likely to change that given their present level of support.


3,381 Responses to “Polling on Hartlepool and the impact of Alba”

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  1. TW

    “yet I doubt that will stop the ‘anecdotes’ and selective ‘copy+pasting’ from the ‘usual suspects’ who have forgotten all their Br-Armageddon ‘predictions’ that have clearly turned out to be nonsense.”

    I’m sure your right but fortunately I will be mostly ignoring it as irrelevant as we move forward.

  2. Shevii,

    I came up with ‘they have stopped not listening to Labour but are not quite ready to start listening yet.’

    Stamer, needs to get these locals out of the way and ponder reshuffle or not and then get some signposts in place for conference. No point doing much in the summer as people even less engaged than normal.

    His, low bar, requirement for the first year or so was to be someone who people could see as PM. Doesn’t mean they have see as a good PM or even their preferred one, just someone who could be.

    Milliband and Kinnock did not quite manage it and Corbyn never came close for enough voters.

  3. @ TOH – Wise move. There is huge amount of +ve news out there and folks are welcome to read CBI survey, PMI surveys, etc.

    What is encouraging is the real World data such as “Manufacturing employment rose for the fourth successive month, with the rate of job creation staying close to March’s seven-year high”

    https://www.markiteconomics.com/Public/Home/PressRelease/efb6497e4d844577b8a38293a4076558

    Exact opposite of Project Fear’s ‘predictions’ and representative surveys are comparable to polling where as the ‘anecdotes’ or ‘copy+pasting’ from a biased source is akin to ‘no one I know votes Tory so why do they keep winning elections’, n=1 views.

    What next from Project Fear? We haven’t seen the impact of Brexit yet.. the predictions of Br-Armageddon is delayed yet again, even though we have now fully left?!? zzz ZZZ

  4. TW

    “@ TOH – Wise move. There is huge amount of +ve news out there and folks are welcome to read CBI survey, PMI surveys, etc.”

    Indeed, that’s the sort of stuff i read all the time, it helps with my and my wife’s investing, which has been going very well since Brexit.

  5. @Trevs – “Exact opposite of Project Fear’s ‘predictions’ …”

    That ranks as _the_most statistically innumerate statement you’ve ever made on Brexit, and that takes some doing.

    Like, what was that pandemic thing we’ve just been through……

    Doh!

  6. Opinium have been at the top-end of %s for SNP, latest from them:

    “Scottish parliament voting intention(s):

    Constituency:
    SNP: 51% (-2)
    CON: 23% (+2)
    LAB: 19% (+1)
    LDEM: 7% (+1)

    List:
    SNP: 41% (-3)
    CON: 23% (+1)
    LAB: 17% (-)
    GRN: 8% (+1)
    LDEM: 6% (+1)
    ALBA: 3% (+1)

    via
    @OpiniumResearch
    , 28 Apr – 03 May
    Chgs. w/ 06 Apr”

    Would still see SNP win majority (65+) and very clear Indy majority. Any guesses on why SCON are near their ‘cap’ at 25%?

    DRoss comments on Boris? Being seen as ‘The’ Unionist party? Doing well on LTV and low DKs (relative to others)? A little bit of all of the above?

  7. TOH.

    Yes. Usual source for the usual stuff.

    These to seem to be getting on fine.

  8. Oddly enough though, @Trevs post has prompted me to draft something I’ve been pondering for a while now.

    There is no question that data from the UK, Europe, US and elsewhere is showing a sharper than expected bounce back from the pandemic nose dive is likely. The reasons are fairly obvious – savings by many consumers leading to pent up demand, the unblocking of certain sectors, investment in alternative ways of doing things, extra spending on certain sectors like health etc etc.

    None of this is surprising, and much of it was predicted – and ignored – by those railing against lockdowns. The idea given was that lockdowns would so damage the economy that the long term problems would be worse than the lockdown cure.

    Now, many of the same people were saying that are lauding the fast recovery (cue the @Trevs, for example) whereas all this really shows was that they were wrong to suggest lockdowns would have such a high and permanent level of damage.

    Unlike other recessions, the lockdown induced recessions, backed by government action around the world to retain jobs and industries – was always unlikely to create a large permanent loss of capacity, which is why some of us kept saying that if we dealt with the virus fast and hard, the economy would be able to bounce back more quickly than if we followed half hearted control measures and allowed the pandemic to rumble on and on.

    The economic forecasts suggest that this approach has been largely vindicated.

  9. @ TOH – Most voters will be interested in the increase in hiring, increased investment, etc = more jobs, better pay

    Build it in Britain = British jobs for British workers.

    I’m not concerned about the inflationary pressures for now but that it is ‘one to watch’. Most of it will be base effects[1] and ‘mild inflation’ is IMO a good thing (far less of a concern that debt deflation for sure!).

    [1] “The Price of the Stuff That Makes Everything Is Surging”

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-05-01/the-price-of-the-stuff-that-makes-everything-is-surging

  10. ALEC

    “The economic forecasts suggest that this approach has been largely vindicated.”

    I’m sure that TW and I are are as unsurprised as you are.

  11. TW

    We definitely need to keep an eye on inflation we don’t want boom and bust as suggested by SJ.

    However i have been encouraged by signs of investment picking up following the budget.

  12. Trevor,

    Agree inflation is the potential issue g/f and I believe MRAs and the like will be struck in those sectors that are facing the most disruption; I hope so.

    The inflation wont be a bad thing as it has been too low for couple of years now as long as stays below 3.5% and it will help with the debt (although not interest payments which are often pegged) and industry will be forced become more efficient.
    Hopefully productivity which, in my opinion, has been the biggest failing in the UK manufacturing economy for over 50 years will improve. I hope that squeezing wages, which undermines ‘levelling up, is not the response.

  13. New jobs = new jobs

    The post furlough predictions (a different Project Fear) of mass unemployment turning out to be defeatists drivel as well.

    In the service sector then the new concern is lack of staff, although I’m sure some Captain Hindsights will claim to have predicted and ignore the fact that it will result in increased wages for British[1] workers, less need for benefits, etc.

    I do hope that we can quickly exit QE as IMO the ‘unintended consequences’ (eg house price inflation yet again) is something we don’t want but that is still is some way off yet and we take tackle asset price inflation in other ways (mostly from supply side but also stop fueling demand, hit BTL/2nd homes harder, etc)

    [1] and IMO that is anyone who calls UK their home and pays their taxes in UK. I’m not anti-immigration but I do think we need to control immigration via an Australia/Canada style point based system (which we now have of course)

  14. JIMJAM

    “Hopefully productivity which, in my opinion, has been the biggest failing in the UK manufacturing economy for over 50 years will improve. I hope that squeezing wages, which undermines ‘levelling up, is not the response.”

    We are very different political animals but nice to agree with you.

  15. Colin: Yes. Usual source for the usual stuff.

    So would you care to go on the record to say that you don’t expect either trade deficits or inflation to be major problems for the UK economy in the next 2-3 years, and that you expect economic growth to continue strongly, rather than showing a sharp short-term recovery followed by zero or negative growth?

    To hail sign of recovery when the restraints are lifted after a period of artificially-induced recession as some sort of vindication of brexit seems a particularly transparent exercise in straw-clutching.

  16. @ JJ – Increasing productivity is the only way to make real wage increases sustainable so we’re firmly on the same page with that.

    Rishi’s ‘Super Deductible Tax’ is already creating investment (see CBI survey from t’other day) and keeping the right amount of stimulus for the right amount of time will need vigilance from BoE and Rishi.

    PS Not going into MRAs again but I hope no businesses are expecting much improvement in access to EU than is covered in the TCA. rWorld, yes but EC-EU think they have a great deal and that UK will ‘roll over’ some of the current ongoing asymmetric aspects so more chance of PIGS flying than EC-EU dropping their ‘geographic proximity’ political view. UK-UK and UK-rWorld are the opportunities.

  17. SJ

    That comment was a response to TOH’s post about UK/USA relationships and recent repeats of opinions on UKPR about them.

    I make no economic predictions whatsoever.

    We dont know what damage has been done yet:-
    https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/euro-zone-dips-into-second-recession-in-q1-but-recovery-ahead-2021-04-30

    But we seem to be moving into an era of Big Spending Government .

    Biden’s $6TRN makes anything Sunak does here seem like chicken feed. Bigger economy of course.

    Frankly I think we are flying by the seat of our pants-economies supported by gargantuan amounts of Central Bank created liquidity and ultra low interest rates, recovering from Pandemic recessions by racking up their mountains of debt even more .

    Still if Janet Yellen says it wont create runaway inflation who am I to pontificate ?

  18. TW

    Can I point out that until Cameron called the referendum our membership of the European union never featured in the top ten greatest concerns.

    Given that health during a pandemic was bound to be first the fact that the economy and leaving the European union, elements of the same thing, both feature in the top four suggests it still has tremendous resonance.

    Hopefully the malign impact of covid will soon be significantly reduced and the malign impact of Brexit will become more transparent.

  19. TOH
    “You’re being childish”

    But I won’t tell you why Brexit is good because it’s a secret!

    How old are you?

  20. @TOH – “I’m sure that TW and I are are as unsurprised as you are.”

    Yes, I recall you were always largely in favour of rigourous controls to squeeze down the virus, but the @Trevs weren’t.

    Indeed, they were extremely aggressive about the suggestion that strong and timely lockdowns were not the answer, and very vocal indeed that lockdowns would leave deep and permanent damage to the economy.

    So where the @Trevs say – “The post furlough predictions (a different Project Fear) of mass unemployment turning out to be defeatists drivel as well.”

    it becomes another rather funny goldfish moment from the man who remembers nothing.

    For example, while a few weeks ago he was claiming France had failed because it hadn’t imposed a strict lockdown soon enough, around a year ago (May 25th, 2020 at 1:44 pm) they argued thus:

    “At some point younger folks are going to realise they’ve been locked down for what?? To crash the economy, to leave them with massive debt to repay, to see high street and other businesses collapse, to have “lost” some of the best years and experiences of their lives.”

    After earlier saying “… back home (The Covid generation of children and young adults who will be paying back the debt from the “nappy state”, ignorant short-term approach….How much damage can three simple word cause. “Stay at Home””

    And this – “Dom’s legacy is Coronaphobia: the irrational fear of Coronavirus amongst “nappy state” short-termist parents, too ignorant to understand the long-consequences of Lockdown…”

    So forgive me if I can’t agree with you that the ‘trevs expected a rapid post lockdown bounce back.

    They seemed very clear indeed that the result would be long term, very deep and irrecoverable losses of jobs, businesses etc.

    Yet now he claims such statements were ‘defeatist drivel’.

    Maybe you can understand why some of us get a little tired of the @Trevs self serving lectures and their memory issues?

  21. Colin: That comment was a response to TOH’s post about UK/USA relationships and recent repeats of opinions on UKPR about them.

    Ah. Apologies for misdirecting my frustration with economic illiteracy. It can be difficult working out what your somewhat cryptic and frequently unsignposted remarks are apropos of!

    I agree we are entering into uncharted waters and I sense your unease with ‘let it rip’ spending and borrowing. I think we may have found some common ground there. I’m sure you remember Barber’s ‘dash for growth’ and where it led as well as I do.

  22. “Projecting Opinium 28 Apr – 3 May into seats (changes vs 1 – 6 Apr / vs 2016):

    SNP ~ 67 (-5 / +4)
    Conservative ~ 29 (+3 / -2)
    Labour ~ 19 (-3 / -5)
    Green ~ 9 (+4 / +3)
    Lib Dem ~ 5 (+1 / nc)”

    https://mobile.twitter.com/BallotBoxScot/status/1389547040842080261

    Range between 7 different pollsters in most recent polling:

    SNP: 61- 68
    SGP: 10-11
    Alba: 0-6

    Indy parties: 72-78

    SCON: 26-28 (after ‘herding’ from Survation)
    SLAB: 18-24 (ditto)
    SLIB: 5-7

    I’d put a higher MoE on SGP and SCON number but we’re certainly into a ‘toss-up’ on outright SNP majority but as near certainty on Indy majority (and SCON 2nd place for folks that care about 2nd places)

  23. More Brexit good news

    The health minister of state Nadine Dorris claimed today that the regime has delivered 180,000 well-paid jobs in the town of Hartlepool thanks to Brexit trade deals and a new Freeport announced earlier this year.

    Which will be wonderful news to the 92,000 residents of Hartlepool, two jobs each now that’s a Brexit bonus.

  24. Interesting experimental Flemish study on the effect that journalists use of vox pops have on public opinion (either accidentally or deliberate by propagandist news outlets).

    The findings of this experimental study have practical implications for the field of journalism. Although vox pops are added to news items by journalists as a way to enliven a news item, what the vox pops say matters. Because they are presented as a random sample of people, the illusion of representation is held up. Vox pops are, whether unconsciously or not, taken seriously by the audience. Journalists should be aware that the presented viewpoints influence audiences to a great degree and that subsequent swings in (perceptions of) opinion are substantial. In addition, journalists should be aware that when vox pops are used as explicit public opinion tools, they are most influential. Knowing that perceptions of public opinion might influence peoples’ willingness to speak out—if they think they are in the minority people tend to stay quiet—these findings raise concern on how public opinion is portrayed by journalists. And not only do we find vox pop viewpoints to have an influence on perceptions of public opinion, they also directly influence people’s own opinions

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/332598126_What_Vox_Pops_Say_and_How_That_Matters_Effects_of_Vox_Pops_in_Television_News_on_Perceived_Public_Opinion_and_Personal_Opinion

  25. ON
    Very interesting report on vox pops. Let’s hope the BBC folks don’t read it.

  26. Old nat
    I recall one joyous example from the BBC just after Brexit they decided to speak to average members of the public outside of the Wills memorial university building in overwhelmingly remain voting Bristol.

    The conversation started with the journalist saying “Hello x now you voted for Brexit”…
    Just how many people did they have to sort before finding their average man in the street?

  27. @ ALEC – zzz ZZZ.

    I think we’re all aware you think HMG should have ignored the Science back in March, I expect that will come up in the public inquiry and sadly that might mean Whitty and Vallance get chucked under the bus.

    As for post lockdown1.0 onwards then I’ve stated many times that Boris needed to move quicker on regional tiers from Sep and he did ‘too little, too late’ once it was clear the Kent strain was more transmissible (Dec). We should also have been much stricter on enforcement of the rules and as I’m sure you have forgotten, have done much more to ‘split the herd’ (which have now done via vaccination priorities)

    Very clearly a rapid vaccine roll out was important and as soon as it was obvious we could obtain herd immunity via vaccination with very effective vaccinations then quite clearly lockdowns was the way to ‘bridge’ to herd immunity via vaccination as I’ve repeatedly stated.

    Perhaps you can state Macron and many others in your beloved EU did ‘too little, too late’ regarding lockdowns far more recently than Boris and with full knowledge the new variants were more transmissible – don’t be shy and certainly don’t pretend the hypocrisy isn’t totally transparent. You could of course also look at polling from various countries (eg YG tracker on govt handling or VI in places like Germany) to get the view from different countries, you know, UKPR being a polling forum and all

    https://yougov.co.uk/topics/international/articles-reports/2020/03/17/perception-government-handling-covid-19

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_for_the_2021_German_federal_election#Graphical_summary

  28. PS for sure “The Covid generation of children and young adults.. will be paying back the debt.. ”

    Debt fuelled growth (bounce back and build back better) is however now the TINA option – as per US, UK, Italy (if Brussels allows them), etc.

  29. Steve.

    It’s true I live in Texas , but during brexit I was still resident in the UK and as I’ve said many times on here I voted remain mai ly because of the farming issue.

    However once we remainers were out voted I adopted the position the vote had been lost and the UK had left. I certainly had no intention of wasting my time endlessly banging on about what a shame it was and wasting hours of my time like Alec and yourself whittering on about how great the EU is and how poorly the UK is doing at least in some eyes.

    The UK’s future has yet to be written, imo it will prosper yes there will be problems ahead but I don’t share some remainers rather pathetic attempts to put the UK down on a daily basis, brexit is done any sensible person would move on and at least try and embrace the newly positioned UK as it’s not going to be part of the EU any time soon if ever.

  30. Wittering not whittering

  31. A race between the EU/Uk to get a trade deal that India won’t give?

    Brexit: EU steals march in race for India trade deal as Johnson announces ‘enhanced partnership’

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/india-trade-deal-brexit-johnson-eu-b1841373.html

  32. Turk
    Well said.

  33. STEVE

    I’m 81 Steve and yes you were being childish which is a shame. I can appreciate that others have a very different point to me, you seem to be unable to do so, and have to descend to sill comments.

  34. SJ

    @”I’m sure you remember Barber’s ‘dash for growth’ and where it led as well as I do.”

    I do.

    Some of the ingredients are still present today-eg Easy Credit & Consumer Spending. Whether the demand for commodities will trigger the equivalent of the 1973 oil price hike remains to be seen, but some of that stuff cannot be dug out of the ground quickly enough.

    But Public Sector Union power isnt what it was then so pay rise demands hopefully not significant now.

    I don’t pretend to be an economist. But I have believed for sometime that Finance Ministers and Fiscal/Industrial Policy have been absent from the management of Western Economies for too long as Politicians sat back and relied on Central Banks and their oceans of liquidity and ultra low interest rates. So it is right that politicians once again sort their economies out and take responsibility.

    I just don’t know how their responses will interact with the mountains of QE and the Sovereign Debt levels that have been racked up.

    It could be a bumpy ride-but it has to be done.

  35. Survation have done three new polls for Holyrood. GMB, ‘These Islands’ (Unionist biased) and WWF Scotland:

    Scotsman write-up on 2nd one:

    “Scottish election 2021: Poll finds confusion over SNP’s plans for independence…
    57 per cent of those who supported independence believed the Scottish Government’s annual GERS figures were “made up by Westminster to hide Scotland’s true wealth””

    https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/scottish-election-2021-poll-finds-confusion-over-snps-plans-for-independence-3222710

    Link for the tabs to all three:
    https://www.survation.com/archive/2021-2/

    Senedd and London Mayor poll due later today apparently.

  36. TurK: remainers rather pathetic attempts to put the UK down on a daily basis,

    I have yet to see anyone on this site try “to put the UK down”, let alone “on a daily basis.”

    What I have seen is reporting of the negative effects of brexit as they mount up.

    Criticising brexit is not at all the same thing as criticising Britain. Surely you can see that?

    If there is a policy in place that is incredibly damaging to Britain, then the patriotic thing is to try to ensure that people are aware of the situation. The unpatriotic thing is to ignore the evidence, criticise those who provide it, and collude in a ‘hear no evil, see no evil’ approach as the damage mounts.

    If you feel that brexit is not damaging, then you should not be afraid of assessing the evidence and explaining why you think the various problems are not worth worrying about.

    Trying to shut the debate down is not the answer. It’s the future of our country that’s at stake here.

  37. eurosceptics spent 40+ years putting the UK down after ’75. It’s just one of those things that is convenient perspective driven rhetoric. It’s also why expecting people to treat it as done and forgot about it now is also rather naive at best. Though I suspect that is also mostly being played for political purposes.

  38. TURK

    I join Pete B in agreeing that was well said. My son who voted Remain has much in common with that approach although he now actively supports Brexit because of the way that many Remainers would not accept a demoratic vote.

  39. Turk.
    Instead you just pop up here to insult people who haven’t left the country And still seek an internationalist non nationalist country.

  40. Colin: It could be a bumpy ride-but it has to be done.

    Sounds like you’re endorsing austerity 2.0.

    As I said, the electoral timing will be awkward if that coincides with the end of the covid bounceback.

    Everything points to an early election while post-covid feelgood lasts and before brexit truly bites, ie within 12 months. If Cons leave it longer, I think they’ll miss the boat. I don’t think a deficit-fuelled consumer boom can be sustained much longer than that.

  41. @STEVE

    I recall one joyous example from the BBC just after Brexit they decided to speak to average members of the public outside of the Wills memorial university building in overwhelmingly remain voting Bristol.

    The conversation started with the journalist saying “Hello x now you voted for Brexit”…
    Just how many people did they have to sort before finding their average man in the street?

    Probably very few indeed.

    Chance of finding a leave voter among two randomly selected adults in Bristol was 48% (62% among two known voters)

    Chance of finding one among three randomly selected adults in Bristol was 63% (76% among three known voters)

    (73% turnout, 62-38 split)

  42. YG article:

    “Who supports abolishing the devolved parliaments, and why?”

    https://yougov.co.uk/topics/politics/articles-reports/2021/05/04/who-supports-abolishing-devolved-parliaments-and-w?

    Minority view and further split on centralised v devolved to a lower level of authority but the CON’19 x-breaks suggest CON voters are against the current ‘arrangements’ even if Boris and CON+U HMG are hoping to ‘muddle through’

  43. SJ – doubt a GE before the boundary changes, why risk it wit such a big majority?

  44. SJ

    Do you ever consider that Brexit might distorting you view of life in general .?

  45. @Trevs – much easier and quicker to just take it on the chin and stop pretending.

  46. JIMJAM

    “SJ – doubt a GE before the boundary changes, why risk it wit such a big majority?”

    Indeed why would they, there is an expectation that it would be likely to give the Tories a number of extra seats, I seem to remember 7 as a low estimate.

    While I think “boom and bust a risk” as predicted by SJ I do not think the risk as high as he does by any means. Not that I am an economist either.

  47. Most trade experts are calling out Truss for telling porkies again today – https://twitter.com/LBC/status/1389488723725889536

    While we don’t know for sure what will be in the UK/India announcement details, from has been trumpeted it looks very like every other investment announcement made when two leaders meet. It sounds like a typical group of investments that were going to happen, wrapped up and rebadged as a ‘deal’. It doesn’t appear to be a trade deal, more an announcement of investments.

    The sort of thing that goes on all the time, both in and outwith the EU.

  48. Good afternoon all from a very blustery and sunny Southampton.

    Some journal from the Gaudian on twitter thought it was big of him to expose the 18 year old lad who runs the Politics for all twitter account.

    He seems to take issue with the fact he supports the Tories and Brexit yet his twitter account says “Follow For Strictly Impartial Political News, Polls and Videos”

    So there you have it…You can’t possibly run an impartial twitter account and support Tory and Brexit according to the halfwit journal.

    The Politics for all twitter account is certainly more impartial than the BBC and most of the journals out there and it’s just my own observation but the left in this country do snarl a lot more than those on the right and tend to focus more on the personal attacks on individual rather than the ideology.

    Anyway, if you have a twitter account then I recommend following

    Politics for all https://twitter.com/PoliticsForAlI
    &
    Ballot Box Scotland https://twitter.com/BallotBoxScot

    Both sites run by students who certainly give the so-called experts a run for their money. :) :)

  49. #Gaurdian
    ……..
    ALEC
    @Trevs – much easier and quicker to just take it on the chin and stop pretending.
    _______

    Chin? You can’t miss it. :) :)

    https://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2015/04/05/11/274D276700000578-3026233-image-a-40_1428230641988.jpg

  50. @AC – :)

    Not far from my thoughts!

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