I’ve been on holiday for the last week, but hopefully haven’t missed too much polling in the August after a general election! One thing that did happen was the Electoral Commission recommending (and the government accepting) a change in the wording of the EU referendum, from a YES/NO question to a REMAIN/LEAVE question. This raises the question of whether or not the wording makes a difference.

At the end of May ICM ran a split sample experiment, asking the then Yes/No version of the question and the remain/leave question that the Electoral Commission ended up recommending. On the Yes/No wording the result was YES 47%, NO 33%, DK 20%; on the Remain/Leave wording the result was YES 43%, NO 35%, DK 22%. Results are here.

ComRes ran a similar experiment at the same time, they asked the then Yes/No version of the question, and a more general question on whether people would vote to stay or leave in a referendum (it didn’t use the exact wording the Electoral Commission have now recommended). On the Yes/No wording the result was YES 58%, NO 31%, DK 11%. On the Stay/Leave question the result was STAY 51%, LEAVE 33%, DK 16%. Results are here.

YouGov haven’t done a split sample, but since the general election they have asked the question in two different ways – one asking the old Yes/No referendum question, and one asking if people would like Britain to remain or leave the European Union. Using the Yes/No referendum question they have found an average YES lead of 8 points. Using a question asking if people would vote for Britain to remain or stay, they have found an average REMAIN lead of 6 points (figures are here, here and here)

The scale of the difference varies between 2 and 9 points and only the ICM poll used the actual question wording. However, the general trend is clear, a remain/leave question seems to produce a smaller pro-EU lead than a yes/no question.

However, what difference the wording makes in an opinion poll is not necessarily the same question as what difference the wording makes in a referendum. An opinion poll is getting someone’s instant reaction having bombarded them with a question they may not have had a firm opinion upon until you asked. A referendum takes place after several weeks campaigning on the pros and cons on each side of the argument and what the implications and consequences of voting Yes or No (or Stay or Leave) might be. I suspect in a referendum, as opposed to an opinion poll, there is very little real difference between Yes/No and Remain/Leave.


311 Responses to “The European referendum question”

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  1. About cutting a deal with Assad: Aren’t the majority of casualties actually his doing, so by extension the majority of refugees will be as well? Cutting a deal might end up creating even more refugees.

  2. So-pick a local dictator & back him to wipe out the religious nutters then?

    This is an “Ethical Foreign Policy” ?

  3. Increasing population as a means to economic growth only works by ignoring climate change. A warming climate and loss of water simply means mass starvation on a scale we have never witnessed. Any population explosion is doomed to fail.

  4. John Pilgrim

    “Organising legal migration is also in Europe’s own long-term interest”

    Indeed. As I suggested in a previous post, voluntarily taking in a large number of younger, aspirational refugees makes a lot of sense for many EU economies, and Germany appears to have stolen a march over other states in this regard.

  5. John Pilgrim

    I appreciate that you are advocating a population that is age-balanced, and this is obviously desirable. But are you not also advocating a rapidly increasing population, and I am not sure that many would think that is a good idea.

    It seems to me that the best outcome is one that achieves a stable population, both in terms of gross numbers, and also in terms of age distribution.

    The current crisis will bring these issues into sharp focus.

    Thanks to Anarchists Unite for the link to Peter Singer’s suggestions, which are about the most reasonable I have seen so far.

  6. YouGov have polled on the refugee issue – questions include

    “All things considered, do you think it would be fair for Britain to accept more or fewer migrants than the average of other EU countries, or should we accept the same number?

    “How happy or unhappy would you be for a migrant family to be housed in a home on your street?”

    “One idea that has been suggested to help tackle the current refugee crisis is for all of the 433 local council areas in the UK to take in ten refugee families each. To what extent do you support or oppose your local council area housing ten refugee families?”

    Some interesting numbers – though I wonder if the responses may have been slightly different if “refugee” had been used in the first 2 questions for ITN.

    https://yougov.co.uk/news/categories/politics/

  7. Millie
    It seems to me that the best outcome is one that achieves a stable population, both in terms of gross numbers, and also in terms of age distribution.

    This is a minefield in itself as life expectancy increases over time!

  8. MILLIE
    Rather than advocating a balanced population – one that has a balance between active labour and dependents – I was trying to bring home the underlying facts of demographic change as assessed by the EU and the UN (and which I consider to be true and the only basis of an effective strategy) and secondly to state the basis on which the EU is actively pursuing its “Agenda” policy on migration. As part of its mustering and using resources for that purpose it is, as interim measures, setting out quotas to absorb the migrants who have illicitly entered the EU, proposing a basis or legal migration to replace illicit migration into willing EU countries (and setting out the demographic benefits of doing so), and setting up on a trial basis a “multi0-purpose” transit centre in Niger to provide support for sub-Saharan African migrants crossing the Sahara to Libya – which would be a model for similar transit country based centres to assist similarly in relation to the Middle East and southern European transit country management of migration. It does not distinguish in the treatment which is offered between refugees and migrants.
    This is not a debate but an active programme to plan and deploy EU resources (i.e. the resources of the member countries and the political and technical capacities of the EC) to provide a rational and long-term response to the migrant phenomenon and its expected long-term and increased occurrence – in the interests of Europe and of the countries of transit and of origin.

  9. Regarding Corbyn’s statement that he would only send troops abroad with an UN resolution, someone posted the following on reddit to show that even when there are UN resolutions, Corbyn disapproves:

    * 02/08/1990 – Iraq invades Kuwait
    * 02/08/1990 – UNSC resolution 660 is passed condemning the invasion and demanding immediate withdrawal
    * 06/08/1990 – UNSC resolution 661 is passed placing economic sanctions on Iraq
    * 09/08/1990 – UNSC resolution 662 is passed condemning the annexation of Kuwait
    * 18/08/1990 – UNSC resolution 664 is passed demanding Iraq protects and allows the return of foreign nationals and diplomatic staff in Kuwait
    * 25/08/1990 – UNSC resolution 665 is passed to allow a naval blockade to enforce the sanctions of resolution 661
    * 13/09/1990 – UNSC resolution 666 is passed to ensure humanitarian aid reaches those in need in Iraq/Kuwait
    * 16/09/1990 – UNSC resolution 667 is passed condemning Iraqi attacks on diplomatic services and the abductions of foreign nationals in Kuwait
    * 24/09/1990 – UNSC resolution 669 is passed in regards to the wider regional impact of Iraqi Sanctions
    * 25/09/1990 – UNSC resolution 670 is passed implementing civil aviation sanctions on Iraq
    * 14/11/1990 – Jeremy Corbyn primary sponsors an Early Day Motion (73) stating opposition to supporting the United States using force against Iraq
    * 28/11/1990 – UNSC resolution 677 is passed condemning Iraq for population transfer in Kuwait
    * 29/11/1990 – UNSC resolution 678 authorising the Gulf War if Iraq did not withdraw from Kuwait by the 15th of January
    * 05/12/1990 – Jeremy Corbyn signs an Early Day Motion (147) condemning the UNSC resolution 678
    * 05/12/1990 – Jeremy Corbyn primary sponsors an Early Day Motion (175) opposing war in the Gulf
    * 06/12/1990 – Jeremy Corbyn sponsors an Early Day Motion (187) stating opposition to the use of force against Iraq
    * 15/01/1991 – Deadline passes
    * 17/01/1991 – Gulf war air campaign starts
    * 17/01/1991 – Jeremy Corbyn speaks in the House of Commons calling for the ceasation [sic] of airstrikes
    * 18/01/1991 – Iraq starts launching SCUD missiles at military and civilian targets in Israel, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Qatar
    * 21/01/1991 – Jeremy Corbyn signs an Early Day Motion (320) calling for the halt of military force against Iraq
    * 29/01/1991 – Iraq invades Saudi Arabia and occupies the city of Khafji for two days
    * 24/01/1991 – Ground offensive starts in full
    * 28/01/1991 – Kuwait Liberated and ceasefire declared
    * 12/06/1991 – Jeremy Corbyn signs an Early Day Motion (948) condemning the formal celebration of victory in the Gulf

    I think he also voted against Kosovo where there was a real genocidal maniac involved (Milosovic).

    I think Corbyn’s real policy stance is “we must stand by and watch”.

  10. ok, I’m taking a break from UKPR …

    I wouldn’t be able to keep within the comment policies – partially because there is little polling.

    This may still fit in.

    Candy – you don’t know anything about the nature of the first Gulf war and you are completely ignorant about the Kosovo conflict.

    See you at a calmer time.

  11. LASZLO
    Rory Stewart, Con (amazingly) Chairman of the Defence Select Committee in the last Parliament deplored in a brilliant speech some months ago the abysmal failure to maintain the deep and local knowledge which Britain traditionally had of the ME and the growing tendency in consequence to make foreign and defence policy decisions on the hoof, or at the behest of the US machine.
    This is so for the migrant – including the Syrian and Eritrean refugee – crisis.
    What Cameron’s response does reveal is a divide from EU responsibilities and an ignorance of the reality which will cause a deep divide in UK politics and lends credence to the belief that he and Osborne are driven by a sense of superiority to the rest of Europe and to the mood and intent of the country.
    Don’t go, BTW, your voice and knowledge of the European experience are valuable.

  12. MILLIE

    @” Peter Singer’s suggestions, which are about the most reasonable I have seen so far.”

    A policy espoused by Cameron, as a result of which UK is the second largest giver of aid to Syrian refugees -in the region.

    Of course this policy means using the UN refugee registration system, The numbers are now so vast that administrative delays -and the realisation that you may not qualify under UN criteria, are causing refugees from the Syrian conflict to take their chances as “illegals”. Germany’s warm words has got them refusing to stay anywhere on route to that country.

    I agree that a policy which uses UN protection and denies the traffickers their victims is the preferred one. But the numbers involved here are so vast that it needs to be beefed up considerably-another Liberia needs to be carved out of the wreckage of Syria -and that means military action under UN auspices .

    CANDY

    Quite right-he has effectively put the UK Military on notice that , if PM, he will cut their funding drastically & remove their raison d’etre.

    At the Sky debate, YC pleaded & shouted at him , with a list of his policies which-if he dropped them, she could “work with him”.

    If he sticks to his guns on Foreign policy, that alone could trigger Labour’s increasingly likely schism.

  13. LASZLO

    @”Candy – you don’t know anything about the nature of the first Gulf war and you are completely ignorant about the Kosovo conflict.”

    This is mere arrogance & bombast Laszlo.

    If you don’t have the time-or the wherewithal-to argue a case, then silence is indeed to be preferred to a mere playground flounce.

  14. “David Cameron has indicated he will abandon plans to extend military airstrikes against Islamic State (Isis) targets from Iraq to Syria if Jeremy Corbyn is elected leader of the Labour party.”

    Guardian

  15. Colin
    If he sticks to his guns on Foreign policy, that alone could trigger Labour’s increasingly likely schism.

    From where I’m sitting a schism is looking less and less likely – over the last week Corbyn’s opponents have been increasingly conciliatory.

  16. FUNTYPIPPIN

    Schism can mean disunuion short of separation.

    I think it all depends on how firmly he sticks to the sort of policies which YC asked him to drop.

    Shadow Chancellor will be a very interesting appointment :-) :-) :-)

  17. I doubt there’ll be a physical split into two parties but the b*$^&rds of John Major’s reign is perhaps a better analogy. There’s enough ammo in the run-up to the vote for the guns in the media to load up on, even if the PLP try to present a united front.

  18. @Oldnat

    Those two Yougov surveys on migrants/refugees are interesting.

    The You Gov Survey

    http://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/ccw143w39b/OPI_InternalResults_150903_Migration_Website.pdf

    The question about each local authority housing ten refugee families breaks down as follows to the following 2015 voters:

    Party – Support – Oppose – Net

    Con – 33 – 59 – (26)
    Lab – 55 – 30 – +25
    LD – 63 – 22 – +41
    UKIP – 10 – 83 – (73)

    In addition, support for the policy declines with each older segment:

    Group – Net (Support – Oppose)

    18-24 – +13
    25-39 – +9
    40-59 – (18)
    60+ – (22)

    By social class:

    Group – Net (Support – Oppose)

    ABC1 – +7
    C2DE – (23)

    Of course, subsets are less reliable, due to sample size etc. However, even given a larger MOE, there appears to a trend – the older and poorer a person is, the less positive a person is likely to be supporting refugees.

    —————–

    The questions that for ITN use the term migrans and produces a more negative response, yet they are very contradictary.

    When asked if they would be happy or unhappy for a migrant family to live on their street:

    Group – Net (Happy – Unhappy)

    Con – (12)
    Lab – +35
    LD – +40
    UKIP – (34)

    Now compare to the responses to whether the UK should accept more, fewer or the same number of migrants as the average among the EU:

    Group – More than EU average – Less than EU average

    Con – 5 – 71
    Lab – 14 – 42
    LD – 22 – 28
    UKIP – 0 – 88

    So every segment by 2015 voters by 2015 party ID shows more support for the UK taking less migrants than the EU average, even the Lab and LDs group who seem way more supportive of migrants.

    —————-

    It looks like winning political support among such fickle electorate, for what seems something we must inevitably do (take more migrants and refugees) will be tough.

  19. CATMAN

    Perhaps the British public simply understand that taking a few more Syrians won’t solve the problem-which is a country torn by war.

    Perhaps they realise that those rich & fit enough to leave the UN refugee camps in Lebanon, Jordan & Turkey & head for Germany are vastly outnumbered by the millions of poorer, sicker Syrians awaiting their fate under UN auspices in the region.

    The most sensible & positive suggestion I have seen to date is from the Eqyptian billionnaire who has offered to buy any available Italian or Greek Island , and settle Syrian refugees there.

    Today also it is reported that Abdullah Kurdi, was sent funds from his relative in Canada , with which to set up a new life in Turkey. It was this money he used to pay traffickers for the inflateable boat from which his wife & children drowned in the Aegean.
    It is also reported that Kobani-the Syrian town from which they fled after ISIL took it, is where he returned to bury his family-Kobani having been re-taken by the Kurdish fighters.

  20. Correction

    @Oldnat

    Those two Yougov surveys on migrants/refugees are interesting.

    The You Gov Survey

    http://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/ccw143w39b/OPI_InternalResults_150903_Migration_Website.pdf

    The question about each local authority housing ten refugee families breaks down as follows to the following 2015 voters:

    Party – Support – Oppose – Net

    Con – 33 – 59 – (26)
    Lab – 55 – 30 – +25
    LD – 63 – 22 – +41
    UKIP – 10 – 83 – (73)

    In addition, support for the policy declines with each older segment:

    Group – Net (Support – Oppose)

    18-24 – +13
    25-39 – +9
    40-59 – (18)
    60+ – (22)

    By social class:

    Group – Net (Support – Oppose)

    ABC1 – +7
    C2DE – (23)

    Of course, subsets are less reliable, due to sample size etc. However, even given a larger MOE, there appears to a trend – the older and poorer a person is, the less positive a person is likely to be supporting refugees.

    —————–

    The questions that for ITN use the term migrants and produces a more negative response, yet they are very contradictory.

    When asked if they would be happy or unhappy for a migrant family to live on their street:

    Group – Net (Happy – Unhappy)

    Con – (12)
    Lab – +35
    LD – +40
    UKIP – (34)

    Now compare to the responses to whether the UK should accept more, fewer or the same number of migrants as the average among the EU:

    Group – More than EU average – Fewer than EU average

    Con – 5 – 71
    Lab – 14 – 42
    LD – 22 – 28
    UKIP – 0 – 88

    So every segment by 2015 voters by 2015 party ID shows more support for the UK taking less migrants than the EU average, even the Lab and LDs group who seem way more supportive of migrants.

    Only the Lib Dem 2015 voters favoured “the same as the EU average” over fewer.

    —————-

    It looks like winning political support among such a fickle electorate, for what seems something we must inevitably do (take more migrants and refugees) will be tough.

  21. COLIN
    “Schism can mean disunuion short of separation.”

    But by disunion do you mean any reported apparent contradictory statement actually or not actually made but reported by someone close to someone or to the shadow cabinet or made up by a News International journalist on an otherwise boring and item-less rainy Friday night in a Fleet Street bar?

  22. @CMJ

    The Scottish public are much more welcoming of the refugees

    (UK)Scotland

    Accept More (10) 20
    Accept Fewer (56) 45

    Happy to have migrant housed in street (42) 53
    Unhappy to have migrant housed in street (39) 25

    So a 10+% difference. This poll was taken before the Scottish Government came out strongly as pro-refugee.

    But the SG have been much more positive about immigration than UK

  23. Colin
    “At the Sky debate, YC pleaded & shouted at him , with a list of his policies which-if he dropped them, she could “work with him”.

    If he sticks to his guns on Foreign policy, that alone could trigger Labour’s increasingly likely schism.”

    In that debate I think I heard him say that he wanted party policy to be decided by the party as a whole. Of course they might well agree with most of Corbyn’s policies, which would leave Cooper et al in a very awkward position.

    I looked at the Guardian website and couldn’t find the bit about Cameron. What would be his motivation to say that? I can’t see any connection.

  24. @Couper2802

    I noticed that in data too.

    It is interesting to note that the north of England (my patch) is totally different to Scotland and more negative regarding refugees and migrants.

    In some ways the north of England is culturally similar to Scotland, and in others completely different.

  25. COLIN
    “Germany’s warm words has got them refusing to stay anywhere on route to that country.”
    We should, I think, accord a degree of respect for the rationality of economic migrants held temporarily without adequate support in Hungary by a hostile government and people and wishing to reach a country which offers them not just that support but a well developed administration for their full integration into mainstream society. When German city mayor talked about “knuckling down” to the acceptance of tens of thousands of arriving migrants he was referring specifically to the strengthening of their logistical capacity to do so, not to the need for a moral or rational response to the need to accept in-migration for the good of Germany’s economy and for the sake of refugees.

  26. @Colin

    I just think in the UK there is an isolationist “we live on an island” mentality.

    Shutting the world out and retreating to our comfort zone is easy.

    Those living adjacent to Syria don’t have that luxury.

  27. JOHN PILGRIM

    I expect they will speak for themselves John. I doubt they would want people like you to say it is all a fiction of the Evil Digger’s Empire.

  28. PETE B

    Link here:-

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/sep/04/david-cameron-abandon-syria-airstrikes-vote-jeremy-corbyn-wins

    I think that whole business of policy making by “members” is replete with contention, reminiscent as it is of the 70’s.

    I think Rob Sheffield expressed views on it-but we will see how his MPs cope .

  29. CMJ

    @”Those living adjacent to Syria don’t have that luxury.”

    Some of them do though-the ones buying boat & train tickets to Germany.

    But the millions in the UN refugee camps have no luxury-so trying to help them is the very opposite of retreating to our own comfort zone.

    Purging ones outrage with vacuous gestures of sympathy in order to retain the comfort zone of ones own moral certitude doesn’t help the 3 million Syrians in camps , or the 5 million displaced in their own country.

    Addressing that needs a little more thought & a lot more money.

  30. @Pete B

    “I looked at the Guardian website and couldn’t find the bit about Cameron. What would be his motivation to say that? I can’t see any connection.”

    I believe the motive is responsibility/blame shifting. In summation it appears to be that when he first flouted the idea he thought he could get his way, whilst point scoring against the opposition, but now it looks like he won’t be able to get his way, so he’s attempting to preemptively point score.

  31. ANARCHISTS UNITE

    @”I believe the motive is responsibility/blame shifting.”

    Or to put it another way-as the G article explains-if he can’t obtain “consensus” ( aka votes) -he won’t/can’t do it.

  32. @Colin

    I once became quite friendly with a barrister who also sat as an immigration tribunal “judge”. Over lunch during a crown court case we discussed the nature of the immigrants who actually reach Britain, and he agreed with me that the money spent on processing, housing and supporting a single (usually middle-class) refugee with the wherewithal to reach the UK could achieve vastly more if it was spent on basic necessities for the great masses of destitute refugees living in camps in neighbouring countries, or the even greater mass who are displaced in their own country.

    £10,000 worth of legal aid buys a lot of food. £600 a month rent buys a lot of tents. “Caring about refugees in Britain” is a pale shadow of, and may be in opposition to (on a limited budget) “caring about refugees in the region”.

  33. On Syria military intervention – I agree with Colin that for a PM with a tiny majority to consider reversing a policy that was decided by the House so recently would (in terms of political credibility rather than actual votes) require some degree of support from the opposition leadership.

    As always, Cameron is being presented as a cookie cutter caricature of a stupid, venal, entitled Toff-Buffoon and not as a basically decent trying to steer a path through a difficult set of circumstances and making some decisions on the way that don’t accord with left-wing commentators.

  34. *decent man

  35. NEILA

    Thanks-very interesting numbers.

  36. John Pilgrim
    ‘ soon there will be two members of the working population for every person over 65, instead of four as it is today’

    Yes, but remember the retirement age is increasing, many currently retire well before 65. By 2060, I expect the retirement age to be more like 70 years of age.

  37. @”‘ soon there will be two members of the working population for every person over 65, instead of four as it is today’”

    Support ratio (working age/pensionable age) UK population:-

    2010 3.14
    2015 3.13
    2020 2.90
    2025 2.77
    2030 2.77
    2-35 2.61

    ONS population projections. 2010-2035

  38. Re Cameron potentially holding a vote in Parliament about bombing Syria. Doesn’t he have to do that? I thought that Blair introduced that method of going to war rather than using the Royal Prerogative?

  39. Blair has simply created a precedent – but it has no binding force in that the Royal Prerogative still exists.

  40. COLIN
    “I expect they will speak for themselves John. I doubt they would want people like you to say it is all a fiction of the Evil Digger’s Empire.”

    Yes, Colin, since political parties can’t continuously repeat that they are a broad church and, especially on proposals for armed incursion in foreign states, allow divisions of opinion and debate, they do precisely depend on people like me to say that,not just the Evil Digger’s Empire, but more subtle purveyors of persuasive language have to be guarded against. As a pertinent example, the Guardian article in question nowhere mentions Corbyn’s views or potential leadership as governing Cameron’s stated need to take to Parliament a decision on direct armed intervention in Syria. Critically in the article it refers to a planned Government response to opposition to the proposal as coming from “an Adviser”. Who he, I wonder?

  41. @Colin

    “Or to put it another way-as the G article explains-if he can’t obtain “consensus” ( aka votes) -he won’t/can’t do it.”

    He does have a majority though, albeit a small one, so he could get it through without opposition support.

    Or is this a scenario where a “playground flounce” is superior to “having the time and wherewithal to argue a case”? ;)

    @Neil A

    “and not as a basically decent trying to steer a path through a difficult set of circumstances and making some decisions on the way that don’t accord with left-wing commentators.”

    It might surprise you but I would agree with this. I do also think that there is politicking going on, relating to a desire to have collective responsibility fall on all the main areas of the house. That’s just the way politics is.

  42. JOHN PILGRIM

    @”the Guardian article in question nowhere mentions Corbyn’s views or potential leadership as governing Cameron’s stated need to take to Parliament a decision on direct armed intervention in Syria. ”

    “Cameron signals he would drop Syria airstrikes vote if Corbyn is Labour leader”

    “In a sign of how the leftwinger could have an impact on Britain’s foreign policy, even as opposition leader, the prime minister said that he would only hold a parliamentary vote on the strikes if there is “genuine consensus”.

    “The frontrunner for the Labour leadership is opposed to the current airstrikes against Isis targets in Iraq and to extending them to Syria.”

    “Corbyn also suggested in the last Labour leadership hustings, broadcast on Sky News on Thursday evening, that he could not currently envisage the circumstances in which he would agree to deploy British forces. The prime minister has a longstanding commitment not to extend the bombing campaign without the approval of MPs, even though he is technically free to bypass parliament on the deployment of military forces by using the royal prerogative.”

    Guardian

  43. ANARCHISTS

    @”He does have a majority though, albeit a small one, so he could get it through without opposition support.”

    Do all his own MPs support the idea ?.I understood that the numbers are likely to require opposition support.

  44. @Colin

    “Do all his own MPs support the idea ?.I understood that the numbers are likely to require opposition support.”

    It wouldn’t surprise me, but he could try getting the consensus he needs from them (or encourage abstainment). My point is merely that he doesn’t need to abandon it in advance based on who the Labour leader is.

  45. COLIN
    The Guardian states the need which Cameron has expressed to take the decision of a vote in Parliament. It is the Guardian which conjectures a link with Corbyn’s likely election and views. The need is there and is a fact regardless of who is elected as leader of the Labour Party.

  46. JOHN

    It doesn’t really require conjecture -either from the PM or the Guardian.

    Corbyn has made his view quite clear during the Sky hustings.

    Anyway-let’s wait & see. He may change his mind. I doubt it being a man of firm principle.

    ANARCHISTS

    Well he was answering a question-and he gave an answer. I don’t doubt that his answer gave him an opportunity to trail what he understands to be Mr Corbyn’s view.

  47. Colin

    ‘Support ratio (working age/pensionable age) UK population’

    This assumes that the same proportion of the working age population is economically active. Over the last few decades this proportion, I believe (as I can’t find the stats), has increased mainly due to women entering the work force.

    I would be interested in see the data for economically active vs not.

  48. CLOUDSPOTTER

    You will find their latest forecasts of support ratio in this -at page 5.
    The “Table Note” implies that changing pension age is factored in-but there is no mention of your point about changing gender mix.

    http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171778_334975.pdf

  49. COLIN.
    If Tom Watson becomes Deputy Leader it will be interesting to see the dynamic within Labour. He was one of the behind-the-scenes-fighters against the ‘hard left’ in the 1980’s.

  50. That guardian article is odd. There is no mention of Corbyn, it is Watt putting two and two together and possibly coming up with 7.

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