With a huge quantity of elections on Thursday, we also have a huge amount of opinion polling ahead of it. Here is a summary of the polling on this week’s elections and what we can predict about this week’s results from it.


The Scottish election race has been heavily polled and with fairly consistent results across polling companies. Everyone has the SNP clearly ahead in both votes, and we can be confident as confident can be that the SNP will win. The broad questions are:

a) How close the SNP will get to an overall majority in their own right, rather than with the Greens
b) Whether Labour or the Conservatives will be in second place
c) Whether Alex Salmond’s Alba party will win any seats

At least six companies have released Scottish polls in the last week or so (and we may well get more tomorrow). Most have shown the SNP around 50% in the constituency vote (SavantaComRes in the Scotsman were lower at 45%, but was conducted a week ago now, so I don’t know if they have another to come). In the regional vote most companies tend to show the SNP at around 36%-41%, with everyone showing the Conservatives in second place on around 22% and Labour third.

It is hard to translate votes into seats with confidence between so many of the final regional seats end up being won by extremely small margins, but it is probably the best way of understanding the interaction between the two votes. The most recent projections have tended to suggest that the SNP may just scrape a majority.

Sky projects 67 seats for the SNP based on the Opinium poll, John Curtice in the Times suggests 68 SNP seats based on the YouGov data. Panelbase in the Sunday Times at the weekend was projected to deliver them 65 seats by Curtice. The Herald’s BMG poll was projected to deliver 68 SNP seats. If the SNP do fall short then they will easily have a pro-independence majority with the Greens anyway, but an outright majority may give them a stronger moral case in the inevitable argument with the UK government over a referendum.

Finally, there is Alba – Alex Salmond’s new party. There has been some difference between polling companies on their projected level of support. For a while Panelbase were giving them around 6% while other companies were giving them derisory support. The final YouGov & Opinium polls did at least see them climbing to 3% (possibly enough to get a seat somewhere depending how unevenly their vote is distributed), while the most recent Panelbase poll had them dropping to 4%.


In the past Wales has not tended to attract much polling – there have been elections when it was YouGov and no one else. This year has been more interesting, with polls from SavantaComRes, Opinium and ICM. There are final Welsh polls from YouGov and Survation due out out tomorrow (and possibly SavantaComRes too) so we’re not done here yet.

The polling show far has also shown Labour ahead, but by differing amounts. Back in February and March YouGov produced a couple of polls showing the Conservatives within touching distance of Labour. Since then Labour have pulled back ahead, with a lead of 9-11 points on the constituency vote, 7-10 points on the list vote. We will see what the final polls show tomorrow.


Perhaps the most foregone conclusion that we have polling for – there has never really been the slightest doubt that Sadiq Khan was going to be re-elected as London mayor once Rory Stewart dropped out (even when Stewart was in the race polling showed an easy win for Khan, but at least Stewart had the potential to shake things). Given the race hasn’t been competitive there hasn’t been nearly as much polling as in past years, but we have had two final calls today (and perhaps more to come tomorrow). Both show Khan winning easily.

Opinium’s final call has Khan winning the first round by 48% to Bailey’s 29%, with Porrit in third on 8% and Berry on 7%. Khan wins easily on round two.
YouGov’s final call has Khan slightly lower on the first round, winning by 43% to Bailey’s 31%, with Berry on 10% and Porrit on 5%. Again, Khan wins easily on round two.


As well as London, there are elections for seven combined authority mayors (Cambridgeshire, Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region, Tees Valley, West Midlands, West of England, West Yorkshire). We have polling for two of those, and in the case of the more recent polls, both show incumbents who were initially elected on a knife-edge now cruising to re-election.

The West Midlands mayoralty is being defended by the Conservative Andy Street. We have two decent sized polls there. Redfield & Wilton polled about a fortnight ago and found a 9 point lead for Street on the first round, but only a 2 point lead once second preferences were redistributed. Opinium released a more recent poll on Tuesday morning, commissioned by the Northern Powerhouse Partnership which projected a clearer win for Street – a 17 point lead and victory on the first round.

The only other poll I’m aware of is for the Tees Valley race. This was won by the Conservative incumbent Ben Houchen by an extremely narrow margin in 2017. The only poll is by Opinium. It has a sample size of only 387 (243 once you take out don’t knows and won’t votes) and the size was such that Opinium didn’t have the space to filter for likelihood to vote. For what it’s worth though, the shares were CON 63%, LAB 37% – suggesting a very easy hold for the Conservatives.


Survation have produced two opinion polls of Hartlepool. The first for the CWU early in the campaign, the second for Good Morning Britain, conducted at the end of April. Constituency polling is a difficult challenge that has a somewhat patchy record, and small sample sizes mean they are large margins of error. That said Survation’s latest poll showed a very solid 17 point lead for the Conservatives, well outside the margin of error. The poll would have to be very wrong indeed for this not to be a Conservative gain.


Local elections rarely get much polling because of the nature of the contest. There is very uneven pattern of contestation, so many people don’t get a choice between all parties. In many places people get more than one vote so can vote for different parties. From a pollsters point of view, it’s also difficult to know what you are measuring – the “Projected National Share” that the BBC calculate on election night is not the actual shares of the vote – its a projection based on the votes in some key wards – so even if pollsters did ask about local elections, the numbers wouldn’t match the numbers the BBC announced on the night!

Normally the only attempt we get to predict likely gains and losses in local elections is therefore the Rallings & Thrasher modelling based on how people have voted in local council by-elections. This time round the coronavirus lockdown means we’ve had hardly any local council by-elections, so even the Rallings & Thrasher model lies dormant.

Unusually though we have got a couple of predictions using polling data. YouGov released a poll last week of councils that cover Northern & Midlands seats that the Tories won at the last elections (the so-called “Red wall” seats) that was used to project gains and losses here – that predicted Tory councillor gains in those areas.

Meanwhile Electoral Calculus have make predictions of district and unitary councillor gains and losses based on data from newcomers “Find Out Now” (a company that polls people visiting the PickMyPostcode website). Not sure why the county elections were excluded, but there goes. That predicts gains of about 300 seats for both Labour and Conservative, at the expense of Lib Dems and Others (note the overall number of seats rises because council changes). Note that the YouGov fieldwork was mid-April, the Electoral Calculus data last week, so quite possible that it pre-empted some of the recent poor coverage for the Government.


The final set of elections on Thursday, and very much the poor relation, are the Police Commissioner elections. Given the lack of public profile these – rather unsurprisingly – don’t appear to have been polled at all (indeed, given the uneven pattern of contestation and the fact I expect many people have no idea they are happening and won’t make their mind up how they’ll vote before being presented with a surprise additional ballot paper on Thursday, they would probably be rather hard to poll if we tried).

17,511 Responses to “Polling ahead of Thursday’s Elections”

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  1. Bio Fuels are another “solution” to “climate change” which was rushed into.

    They had their “ecological footprint” evaluated in terms of their greenhouse gas emissions levels. This created an incredibly incomplete picture of the actual level of environmental impact of various biofuels. As more recent appraisals show-after the damage is done of course :-

    “We synthesised data from 116 sources where a potential biofuel crop was grown and estimated how two measures of local biodiversity, species richness and total abundance, responded to different crops. Local species richness and abundance were 37% and 49% lower at sites planted with first-generation biofuel crops than in sites with primary vegetation. Soybean, wheat, maize and oil palm had the worst effects; the worst affected regions were Asia and Central and South America; and plant species richness and vertebrate abundance were the worst affected biodiversity measures. Second-generation biofuels had significantly smaller effects: species richness and abundance were 19% and 25%, respectively, lower in such sites than in primary vegetation. Our models suggest that land clearance to generate biofuel results in negative impacts on local biodiversity.”

    From Abstract (1)

    FoE summarise :-


    (1) The impacts of biofuel crops on local biodiversity: a global synthesis
    View ORCID ProfileSophie Jane Tudge, View ORCID ProfileAndy Purvis, View ORCID ProfileAdriana De Palma

    All very good in theory, but that oft used statement has little practical use. It is demonstrably true that, given the opportunity, people will give up their freedoms in order to earn enough to live on, so a certain amount of slavery ie restriction of free choice, is obviously acceptable.

  3. Not sure what the auto-mod word was so retry on footnote for 11:45am

    [1] The S.Koreans (and probably the French) have had ‘issues’ with that. As we’ve seen recently that having certain providers ‘off line’ for maintenance can cause serious knock on effects.

    However, a well managed grid balancing system should have lots of redundancy to cope with such matters. We certainly should aim to reduce, one day eliminate, the need to continue to pay for 15-20GW of ‘fossil fuel’ (mostly gas) on ‘stand by’ via Capacity Market (CM) contracts. Hence the need for significant GWs of ‘predictable’ electricity supply


  4. JIB
    We don’t have to” leave and deal with it”: deluded nationalist rhetoric and complete detachment from the reality of the history of European unity aside
    All that’s required is a government prepared to embrace common sense rather than stupidity and move to rejoin.

    I appreciate you are a firm believer in the Mussolini school.of democracy, selected people, one vote , one time only, then stuff the concept of a change of mind ever.

    But those who actually believe in democratic principle know it’s perfectly reasonable to change course and for the previously delusional to come to their senses.

    So kindly stop lecturing those of us who don’t agree with a decision based on deceipt and xenophobia and never will and stating we have to accept it as cannon we don’t and never will.

  5. JiB: You have to live with that decision – Leave! Deal with it.

    Yes, of course we all have to live with the decision and deal with the consequences. We have no choice but to do that if we remain in the UK in this new era of ‘freedom’.

    But please don’t try to restrict the freedom of expression of those who want to draw attention to those consequences.

    I have no problem at all with those brexiteers who are falling over themselves to draw attention to the benefits of brexit as they roll in. It’s just that they don’t seem able to come up with the goods…. like an increasing number of supermarkets.

  6. SDA
    “I can understand the emotion to be ‘free’ as it were, but to leave one organisation and immediately seek to join with another, less beneficial one ”

    Difference in kind. Leaving a nascent super-state to join various trade agreements.

  7. @Steve

    I believe in democracy, you prefer to snipe at the clearly democratic decision by calling voters who chose Brexit various childish names. It was the Remain side that went out of their way to try a subvert democracy and get a 2nd – rigged – referendum. The electorate saw you coming!

    As I have said, if the decision had been Remain, I certainly wouldn’t be carping on endlessly.

    Few of the issues we’re experiencing at the moment have anything to do with Brexit. The EU are more than happy to supply whatever we want.

  8. YG have two articles on inflation. Tracker:

    “Inflation: Brits growing frustrated with government handling of price rises”


    and specifics:

    “Inflation: which costs have Britons noticed rising since the pandemic began?”


    2c: Any impact on VI? TBC and although the article states “they are now laying blame for rising prices at the government’s door” then that doesn’t mean they think Starmer-LAB could do better and hasn’t asked whether folks are aware of global commodity price rises being the cause of most of the rise in inflation (domestic wages going up being ‘net’ a good thing IMO)

    Could well be a Winter of discontent in CON VI (eg return to the ‘differentials’ on DK/WNV) but ‘mid-term blues’ could be turned into GE’24 provided LAB don’t gain from CON’19 switchers.

  9. In a free market surely the CO2 Price would rise to the level required? As it is it looks like a failure of free-market capitalism. Surely if CO2 is so vital, then the companies that claim to need it would be willing to pay the price that it costs to produce. In which case it would be worth while operating the ammonia plants just for the CO2. Sure, food prices might rise, but that would be to reflect the value of the raw materials (including CO2) that are used.

    But instead we have Government intervention, paying public money to a private enterprise so that other private enterprises can continue to make their profit.

    It seems that the latest in a series of events where private companies have their risks funded by the tax payer

  10. NeilJ: In a free market surely the CO2 Price would rise to the level required? …

    … But instead we have Government intervention, paying public money to a private enterprise so that other private enterprises can continue to make their profit.

    Well, we actually seem to be getting the worst of both worlds. Not only is HMG reported to have agreed to pay all CF Industries’ production costs for three weeks, but:

    “The British food industry will be forced to pay 500% more for carbon dioxide as part of a government deal with a US company to restart production in the UK.

    Environment Secretary George Eustice said carbon dioxide prices would rise from £200 per tonne to £1,000.


  11. @Trevs – “PS Dare I mention the balancing aspects on the demand side could be ‘helped’ by at least partially matching shift patterns of heavy industry to the tides ……..

    PPS Still likely to need a load of additional storage capacity but I’d ‘trust’ industrial users to be a lot smarter than gen.pub on taking advantage of periods of very cheap electricity…..”

    Well you’d be wrong.

    TBH, you’re out of your deth on this one, and have been for a long time.

    Industry does already have several methods by which they match demand to price variable supply, but there are many other issues when considering timing of production, so variable shifts are unlikely to be of much use.

    Apart from the management of industries, there are also geographical issues – it isn’t just when, but where demand is shifted.

    By contrast, domestic demand shifting is potentially very easy indeed. There are houses everywhere, and where I think you are failing to understand the technology here is that the new innovations hold out the promise of automated responses on a house by house basis, without any input from the householder. All they would need to do is set their initial tolerances on price acceptability, carbon emissions mix etc, and the systems do everything else for them.

    Domestic heating is a large chunk of our total energy demand (around a quarter, from memory) and for demand side response thinking, this is the obvious and easiest target.

  12. Somerjohn,
    “It’s also notable that only one of CF’s two UK plants is reopening,”

    R4 was interviewing someone from another company which makes bio alcohol for vehicle fuel. They normally sell co2- the chap said more for environmental reasons than for profit rather than just venting it. However they are closed for annual maintenance. They expect to resume in a week or two, which I guess means they should resume before the government bung expires.
    They make about 1/3 UK demand.

    Supposedly other companies would be interested in supplying, but price has been too low.

    “Had the EU been built on democracy and accountability the UKs democratic decision might have been different”

    But the EU is more democratic than the UK. What does that tell us about ourselves?

    ” why did France not build more of them but opt for massive investment in nuclear instead”

    Maybe for the same reasons we did? But then came winscale, five mile Island, Chernobyl and fukushima. All of which were supposed to be impossible. The US nuclear power program stalled because operators faced potential open ended liabilities in the event of an accident. Something which could bankrupt a company and simply wasn’t worth the commercial risk. The US government capped that risk, but it still isnt really commercial.

  13. Another useful link for info on the specific issues relating to tidal energy:


    Lots of info such as:

    “Limited energy demand. Powerful tides only happen normally 10 hours out of each day, this means the tidal energy storage capacity must be developed.”

    Doesn’t specifically cover the issue of partially ‘matching’ supply and demand to the tides cycle but it should be obvious that the higher the amount of ‘matching’ then the lower amount of storage required (in case that was unclear in an earlier post)

    It’s also possible some folks have already forgotten that lack of energy storage in UK has exasperated the ‘energy crisis’ in UK (mostly via using it to create electricity[1] as ‘arbitrage’ means the price of UK £ therms and Dutch € MWh wholesale price of gas is quickly ‘arbitraged’)

    [1] Due to various issues and the ‘series of unfortunate events’ that have finally exposed the can kicking of decisions issues of the last 10+yrs for most (clearly not all) folks to see.

  14. The Trevs,
    “However, a well managed grid balancing system should have lots of redundancy to cope with such matters:


    Redundancy costs money. You need to balance the constant drain of redundant plant against costs of temporary power shortages.

    “Difference in kind. Leaving a nascent super-state to join various trade agreements”

    Certainly difference in kind. Leaving a super trade block where we were arguably the most powerful director of its actions to become a vassal state of the US. And quite possibly of the EU too.

    So yes, we have chosen vassaldom over democratic independence.

    Re energy, director of a now bankrupt energy supplier put at least some of the blame on being ordered to carry bad debts through covid epidemic and continue to supply at their cost. It’s part of the orivatisation of national debt beloved of government. This crisis is in reality a consequence of lockdown, albeit the uk wasn’t the only nation doing this.

    Also observed the biggest problem is evening spike in demand when wholesale prices soar (and probably someone is making a lot of money). so if everyone minimises electricity usage in the evening it will help the national crisis.

  15. @TW

    Yes, the issue with no generation at slack water times is well-known. This may be the reason why the French went for nuclear, but I suspect that they didn’t have many estuaries with a sufficient tidal range either. In the UK we are primarily looking at the Severn Estuary and the Northern part of the Irish Sea. Inconveniently (although quite understandably) these two areas are almost exactly six hours out of phase with each other (https://www.tidetimes.org.uk/). This may seem counterintuitive at first but the Moon doesn’t drag a hump of water around the Earth (despite the simplified explanations in school books). What actually happens is that the gravitational pull of the Moon creates a resonance so that the water actually slops around between the northern Irish Sea and the Severn Estuary (with some linkage to the English Channel). The shape of the sea bed is quite important in dictating how high the tides are.

    Our potential 500 GWh of pumped storage in Scotland would be more than sufficient to smooth the daily tidal fluctuations, I have seen 10 GW quoted as the UK’s tidal power capacity, but it is not clear if that is peak or average (25% of peak).

  16. JIB

    Please save us from your negativity and endless baiting.

    We’ve left the EU, and integrationist Federal Superstate. We’re still trading with them and Brexit is a realignment.

    Had the EU been built on democracy and accountability the UKs democratic decision might have been different.

    You have to live with that decision – Leave! Deal with it. A few temporary shortages, severely exacerbated by a worldwide pandemic, isn’t proof whether it was a rational decision or not
    We can review in a generation.

    September 22nd, 2021 at 11:38 am

    I don’t remember being told we review the effects brexit in a generation by the leave camp. I remember how great it would be from the off (even Johnson proclaiming cheaper energy costs).

    Politics doesn’t work on a wait and see basis. People are hurting now (and soon they’ll be seriously hurting).

  17. An early Christmas from the government to the have nots

    Universal credit cut will push 800000 people into poverty …https://www.theguardian.com › society › sep › universal-c…

    Dopey Rishy doesn’t agree

    Chancellor denies Universal Credit cut will force people into …https://www.independent.co.uk › money › chancellor-d…
    7 Sept 2021 — Rishi Sunak has claimed people will not be forced into poverty when the Government cuts Universal Credit (UC) within weeks.

  18. An export opportunity!

    Johnson has secured the re-opening of the US sheep meat market to UK producers (though lifting of the BSE-inspired ban had actually been under discussion for five years).

    So this must be a magnificent opportunity, right, compensating for the loss of the big EU market for lamb and mutton? Er, no…

    The U.S. market for lamb and mutton meat has weakened throughout the decades. Since the 1960s, per capita consumption has dropped from nearly 5 pounds to just about 1 pound. This drop is due in part to declining acceptance of lamb from a growing segment of the population, as well as competition from other meats, such as poultry, pork, and beef.”

    But even if it’s a small market, we won’t face much competition, right? Er, no…

    Lamb and mutton imports, which currently account for more than half of U.S. supply, are mainly from Australia (about 75 percent) and New Zealand (about 24 percent).


  19. I think this is called trolling.
    German Embassy London

    Germany government organization
    As the restoration of Big Ben nears completion and the iconic dials become visible again, so too do the 1,300 German-made glass panes used in the tower’s refurb.

    The hand-blown panes were made by ?? company Glashütte Lamberts.

    How they were made ?? https://youtu.be/YSTZXUNO4PA?t=18


  20. @Colin – agree with you about the impacts of zero carbon technologies.

    There are no easy, impact free options. However, as others have pointed out, the evidence appears very clear, that allowing excessive global warming will bring far, far greater ecosphere impacts.

    There is too much pushing of specific technologies as ‘the answer’, but we face some unpalatable choices.

  21. Two more energy suppliers gone today

  22. @Leftie and @JIB (and @others) – re the Swansea barrage and fish, I suspect that there is the potential for some substantial impacts – although these are observations based on general knowledge, not the scheme specifics.

    My understanding is that the proposed turbines are Kaplan type turbines, with a variable rotation speed settling at c 50rpm at standard output. Given the type of turbine, I would not expect many fish to actually be ‘chopped’, but the rotation speed is likely to cause sufficient pressure waves that would kill fish trapped in the flow.

    Archimedes screw turbines – the most fish friendly – typically rotate at 25 – 30rpm, and there is solid evidence that salmon can pass through these without harm. However, typically such in river turbines still require fish screening, with a separate fish pass required if on a migratory river.

    So, I don’t think there is much doubt that the tidal barrage would represent a substantial fish risk, but equally given that, I would assume that safe fish passes and screening of the intake/outflow will be a requirement.

    What I imagine would be much less obvious is the general impact on the local fish population through a substantial remodelling of the intertidal environment. This would also affect birds and other marine species.

    The barrage will, in my view, have a substantial negative environmental effect, and the question is whether that is a price worth paying for the undoubted benefits.

    I’m not remotely qualified to judge that, but I would note, as ever, that there are very many energy market measures we could take that would have collective a similar benefit to the tidal scheme but which have far lower impacts. Again, whether we can organise these various measures, I can’t say, and there is also the issue that we need much more electricity in the future.

  23. ALEC

    I agree this is about choices. But imo they are not nearly enough informed choices.
    As I said already , impacts are measured solely against CO2 saving, not the wider environmental impact.

    I agree that there are no impact free options. (I suspect an as yet unidentified Law of BioPhysics dictates that our energy use is a Zero Sum Game within our Biosphere.!)

    As to your second para. I do think that statements like that are always essentially made from an anthropocentric point of view. Whilst it is true that we have , as a species, released vast amounts of greenhouse gasses from the energy packaged by geological time and geological forces, natural forces have also released them from time to time over earths history.
    Temperature has varied incredibly over earths history Over vast eons of time . Life adapted to those changes. Mass extinctions occurred on at least five occasions . Evolution produced newly adapted biospheres and their inhabitants.

    Modern Man has been here a minute period of time. Our destruction of our environment has been just a few thousand years in the making. Our timescales and perspective are dwarfed by that of the planet’s other inhabitants.

    Life will adapt to climate change like it always does. We will not, reliant as we are now on our technology and its energy inputs. Our lifestyle is unsustainable -unless we discount the rights to existence of any other species and plunder their resources for ever..

    Which is what we do when we destroy pristine forest habitat to produce a fuel that isnt sources from hydrocarbons. All of these so called “renewable solutions” have adverse environmental costs-as I was trying to point out earlier.

    I suppose there would be some point to it all if they actually reduced our greenhouse gas emissions. But they dont.

    I think we are pi88ing in the wind. We will destroy anything and everything to sustain our consumer lifestyle . Africa and Asia will do what Europe has done. And do it more quickly.

    And my own suspicion is that it wont help us. We wont stop the Climate changing & temperature rising. The damage is done and we will have to live with its consequences as best we can. But we will have caused the 6th Great Extinction in the process.

    I know all this will be just eco waffle to many. But thats how I see it.

    I think we should be thinking much more about mitigation and how we live with climate change. That what other species will do if we give them the opportunity.

  24. @Colin – valid points. I tend more towards optimism than you do (ha! – had to get that one in!!) but I too sometimes succumb to the despair of this.

  25. @ Danny

    “But the EU is more democratic than the UK. What does that tell us about ourselves?”

    Interesting claim.

    With turnout to EU parliament elections in the UK approximately half that of General Elections (35% vs 70%) – I think not.

  26. Just to say India increased its coal burn by 23% in August.

  27. @ LL – always enjoyable to discuss the multitude of solutions to fixing UK energy, which is now in ‘crisis’ [1]
    Quick 2c on your points:

    1/ France tides. Lack of suitable sites is unlikely to be the reason they haven’t built more tide based solutions. See 11:45am.

    2/ Scottish hydro. I don’t disagree but loads of issues and I’m not sure UK HMG would even put those back on a ‘long list’

    3/ Most solutions would push their max MW number but should put the effective MW in the ‘small print’ (easy to find that info)

    4/ it might seem difficult to believe at the moment but as well as too little generating capacity then tidal would also have had ‘too much’ issues as part of the mix (sunny, windy Summer days)

    [1] being raised to ‘crisis’ might, hopefully, mean CON HMG uses the ‘OxAZ’ model. Kate Binghams of the energy sector should send their CVs to Kwarteng-Rishi (being married to a CON MP not essential one hopes)

  28. Interesting Twitter rumour about Keir Starmer’s new Labour Leadership election plans.

    Despite not getting support from the Unions, he may still try to push it through the NEC.

    Unnamed sources indicate the GMB Union (centrist/right of the party) said they would support his plan, as long he ditches the Green New Deal and Ed Milband.

  29. @ Colin

    Good post from you and I agree with your pessimism. The only point I would make about mass extinctions in the past is that I don’t see similar situations today. The human race is very unlikely to die out and will fit to occupy the maximum space and resources available which seems to me unlikely to allow future evolutionary progress. Species also have nowhere to migrate to limit the damage.

    Also disappointing because for the first time in the history of the planet we have solutions to all of this and an intelligent race that could make it unnecessary to go through these mass extinction resets.

  30. @Shevii

    Well, the future is one in which we have habitats outside of earth. Colonising suitable worlds like Mars, but in particular building rotating habitats where we can optimise the gravity and conditions.

    A rotating cylinder is a lot more efficient use of resources than a big ball of rock.


    These can be easier than terraforming planets. O’Neill cylinders are a larger version…


    The potential for reusable spacecraft to lead to huge numbers of rocket trips would make building these habitats much more feasible. Start with larger space stations and progress from there…

  31. (by optimise gravity, I mean the gravity surrogate, the force due to the spinning, obvs.)

  32. @ Carfew (and others)

    On the subject of space things (and it’s been talked about on here before) Asimov’s Foundation book series has been turned into a TV series and starts on Friday. It airs on Apple TV and, if successful, they hope for around 80 episodes so means they won’t be rushing things. I’m nervous it will be a pale imitation but hoping for the best.

  33. Those who like to see high quality skilled jobs created in the British Isles will be pleased that AstraZeneca is establishing a “next-generation active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturing facility”.


  34. SHEVII

    @”I don’t see similar situations today. ”

    Scientists do :-


    @” Species also have nowhere to migrate to limit the damage.”

    Well for some thats true. Geographically isolated specialists like Orang Utan will obviously snuff it if their forests are rapidly felled-which we are doing to produce palm oil ( cosmetics more important than a near relative) . We can save a few to gaup at in bits of forest I suppose-but they will go yes.

    In fact Island species are at risk of rapid habitat change because they tend to be specialists. Look no further than what we did to Hawaii:-

    So-yes-increased temperatures will finish off animals at the extremes-montane species, arctic species.

    But many species will shift latitude and adapt. They are doing it now . Continental bird species , and invertebrates are breeding here now-and moving north too from southern staging posts.

    And given geological time the Hot Zones will see adaptations and new species there.

    I must disagree that we are an “intelligent” species . Not in terms of sharing the planet. We have always been a ruthlessly selfish and predatory species.

  35. NearlyFrench
    “It is demonstrably true that, given the opportunity, people will give up their freedoms in order to earn enough to live on, so a certain amount of slavery ie restriction of free choice, is obviously acceptable.”

    I agree to some extent. Salaried or waged employment is little more than slavery in my opinion, as I frequently told my colleagues just to cheer them up :-) . However there was always the possibility of walking away and doing something else, which I did quite often, and thank goodness the great British public has done the same to escape the slavery of the EU.
    Steve (@JiB)
    “All that’s required is a government prepared to embrace common sense rather than stupidity and move to rejoin.”

    They would be destroyed at the next General Election.
    Neil J
    “Surely if CO2 is so vital, then the companies that claim to need it would be willing to pay the price that it costs to produce.”

    Quite. And they should look at other ways to produce it. We’re constantly told there’s too much in the atmosphere so why not use that?
    “I think we should be thinking much more about mitigation and how we live with climate change. That what other species will do if we give them the opportunity.”

    That’s because they can’t do anything else. Because of our technological abilities we can solve it. I don’t pretend to be an expert like so many on here, but I reckon in say 30 years’ time there’ll be stuff in place to effectively work like a household thermostat – Global Warming? Turn it down a bit. Ice Age? Turn it up. Some of this could be space-based – e.g. giant solar power sails directing power to earth. A big advance on the solution I came up with at school when we were told an ice age was coming – build a string of nuclear reactors along the Scottish border with giant hot water pipes running between them.
    ” The human race is very unlikely to die out and will fit to occupy the maximum space and resources available which seems to me unlikely to allow future evolutionary progress.”

    Natural evolution no longer necessary. DNA manipulation will speed it up. Perhaps we could grow extra sweat glands?
    “I must disagree that we are an “intelligent” species . Not in terms of sharing the planet. We have always been a ruthlessly selfish and predatory species.”

    And that clashes with your definition of ‘intelligent’ because…?

  36. Apolgies if posted already.

    New Survation


    Con 40

    Lab 35

    Lib Dem 8





    Apologies if already posted, new Survation
    Con 40
    Lab 35
    LD 8
    SNP 4
    Green 4
    Others 9


  37. Oops Cut and Paste amateur hour!

  38. Mercian

    “Perhaps we could grow extra sweat glands?”

    At least one Royal seems to be deficient in them already, so maybe they will die out first?

  39. JIM JAM


    Political levitation-which I dont believe in.

    How long can it last?

    Jan/Feb ?

    Longer perhaps in the Labour Party really does want another civil war ?

  40. ON
    Nice one :-)

  41. Am I too cynical?

    The Stockton North constituency where the CF plant is to reopen needs just a 2.5% swing to Con for Lab to lose it.

    The plant that isn’t reopening is in the Ellesmere Port & Neston constituency and would require a swing of 18% for Labour to lose it.

    So the taxpayers millions are boosting the workers in Billingham where a small change could gift the seat to the Tories, but the Cheshire constituency is a lost cause, so not worth putting the money in.

  42. As Johnson dismisses French concerns over AUKUS, Biden acknowledges the process was flawed.

    It looks like France has persuaded Biden that he owes them, and Europe, a favour.

    Meanwhile, George Eustace displaying his ignorance, claiming on Sky that he is explaining to the Americans that the protocol is tantamount to someone in the US not being able to send potatoes from one state to another. Eustace says he doesn’t think Biden understands this, while trade twitter is telling Eustace that there are SPS borders withing the US, for various reasons.

    Slightly embarassing.

  43. @ Colin

    I think you misunderstood what I was saying about “similar situations”. I wasn’t arguing about not having mass extinctions I was arguing about it being the same reset button as for example dinosaurs and asteroids where everything started again with new evolution.

    This time, whatever happens, humans are likely to survive in large numbers unless wars over resources end up nuclear and even then some will survive. Humans will occupy whatever planet resources allow them to occupy and expand again so that new evolution is hampered.

    I take your point about some species adapting but IMHO it will be very limited and we are unlikely to see a new version of big mammals again.

    And yes, obviously I agree about “intelligence” but never before has a species had the actual ability to avert a mass extinction should they wish to.

  44. At the 2019 GE 32.1m votes were cast and 15.4m voters did not vote.

    14.6m voted for Brexit supporting parties,17.5m voted for parties that didn’t support Brexit. Nobody knows what the 15.4m who didn’t vote felt. But on a % basis 31% supported Brexit, 38% were against and 34% didn’t vote. Effectively we left the EU based on 31% of the voters supporting the idea.

    The next GE we need a progressive alliance


    I suppose if you’re going to pick one then the politically more pleasing option has just as much chance of genuinely being the more sensible choice.

    How inferior an option you think any government will be prepared to pick for political reasons probably just depends what you already think of the government.

    And in this particular situation I suspect if they’d gone the other way we wouldn’t be seeing a post from an LOC contributor congratulating them on fairness, more likely a different poster fulminating about them leaving the North to rot as always…

  46. SDA
    “Effectively we left the EU based on 31% of the voters supporting the idea.”

    No. We left the EU because of the biggest popular vote ever – 17.4 million people in 2016. The losing side tried all sorts of crooked schemes to subvert the decision, but lost them all in the end.


    14.6m voted for Brexit supporting parties,17.5m voted for parties that didn’t support Brexit. Nobody knows what the 15.4m who didn’t vote felt. But on a % basis 31% supported Brexit, 38% were against and 34% didn’t vote. 

    That assumes two things – that everyone voting had the same very clear and indeed binary understanding of each party’s Brexit position, and that everyone who voted chose their party based on Brexit.

    Given there were quite a few MPs that didn’t fit that simplistic analysis I can’t see it being valid across the electorate as a whole.

  48. “And that clashes with your definition of ‘intelligent’ because…?”

    … because an intelligent species would not destroy its own environment.

  49. EOR
    And not every party even had a clear Brexit position. Labour for instance. At least as far as I knew, and presumably a reasonable number of other voters.

  50. Mercian

    “tried all sorts of crooked schemes” = votes in the UK HoC.

    Yet again, we agree!

    Votes in the UK HoC are usually “crooked schemes” – usually to push through “crooked schemes” devised by a government elected on a minority of the vote.

    That there is a lot of evidence that the current government are a bunch of crooks, is purely coincidental! :-)

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