Today’s Times has a new YouGov poll of Labour party members and registered supporters (so members, registered trade unionists and £3 supporters – the same group who were able to vote in the Labour leadership election). Full tabs are here.

65% thought Jeremy Corbyn was doing well as leader, 34% badly as leader. Less promisingly, only 46% think it’s likely Labour will win the next election under Corbyn and only 38% think it’s likely he will ever be PM. Labour party members think Corbyn is doing well and expect him to lose. This apparent contradiction is easily resolved: 56% of Labour members think parties should say what they believe, even if it’s unpopular and loses elections, in comparison 32% think they should compromise in order to put foward policies that allow it to win an election and put policies into action.

Looking forward there is little appetite amongst Labour members for a change of leader: 57% think Corbyn should remain leader and fight the next election, 20% think he should hand over the leadership to someone else at some later point during the Parliament, 18% think he should go now.

There’s a sharp division between those who voted Corbyn and the minority who didn’t – 86% who voted Corbyn think he’s doing well, 66% who didn’t vote Corbyn think he’s doing badly. 82% of people who voted Corbyn think he should stay till the election, 43% who voted differently think he should stand down now. The vast majority of people who voted for Corbyn think he is doing well and think he should stay on, at least for now; there is no sign at all of buyer’s remorse amongst Corbyn’s voters. Equally, Labour party members who opposed Corbyn in the leadership election continue to oppose him, there is little sign of them rallying round their new leader. The Labour party remains divided.

It’s quite hard to judge whether these figures are good or bad. Surveys of party members are quite rare, most of the time they only happen in the middle of a leadership election when there is no incumbent leader whose ratings we can compare. There were no polls, for example, of Labour party members when Ed Miliband had been in the job for a few months that we can compare to see if David Miliband supporters had rallied round the leader or all still wanted Ed to resign.

79% think the shadow cabinet is divided, but Corbyn’s opponents are much more widely blamed for this than Corbyn himself – 54% think the fault is mostly his opponents’, 19% Corbyn and his allies, 25% both equally. On balance, there is support amongst the Labour selectorate for mandatory re-selection of MPs – 39% think MPs should be automatically reselected unless they’ve failed badly or are very unpopular, 52% think all MPs should face a full reselection anyway.

Finally YouGov asked about two specific policy issues facing Labour. On Europe the party membership is clear: 80% would vote for Britain to stay in the EU and 62% think Jeremy Corbyn should actively campaign in favour of EU membership. On Syria Labour party members divide two-to-one against airstrikes and three-to-one against the use of British ground forces in Iraq or Syria. 48% of Labour members think Corbyn should oppose the RAF taking part in airstrikes against ISIS, only 25% think he should support them.


160 Responses to “YouGov poll of Labour party members”

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  1. @Neil A & Colin

    Well I was just making a joke, but if you desire elaboration…

    Obviously the situation as it stands is untenable. For that reason it’s not going to go on; and it is, indeed, already showing signs of petering out. This mass outrage of the last two weeks or so does really sum up what was always New Labour’s Achillies heel – they raised headline hunting to be a glorified political principal. They can’t do long term strategy or thinking, or even come up with a relatively coherent direction. So all that happened was we all watched a set of people throw a full on, rolling on the floor beating hands and feet and shrieking, temper tantrum. This behaviour is embarrassing when seen in two-year olds; in grown adults and members of parliament it doesn’t suddenly translate into an cogent intellectual argument.

    For that reason they’re not going to be able to overthrown Corbyn. To do so would require them to come up with a leader, which they don’t have, and some ideas that would have larger appeal, rather than just slogans targeted to appeal to the fictitious representative voter of Nuneaton who haunts their dreams. I rather suspect that Satan will open his curtains and see his realm turned to ice before this happens.

    As Colin suggests if there is a coup it will be a quiet one and it will come from Cooper and Unuma region of the party. As I’ve said before, they’ve cleverly distanced themselves from the cabinet but have not retreated to the backbenches. They’re still in touch (indeed Cooper has been doing some work with McDonnell on the budget response). At some point they’ll either decide that Corbyn, for all his flaws, is the best option and can be made into an effective leader; at which point they’ll tell the PLP to shut up and take front bench roles. Or they’ll decide he’s a hopeless case, in which case they’ll probably sit down with Corbyn and agree a compromise candidate to take over. In either of these scenarios the Blairities lose though, something that they know full well. It has finally dawned on them that they don’t stand a chance of winning an election, so having Corbyn crash and burn and in the chaos stealing the crown is their only option.

    It is of course true that divided parties don’t win elections. But this is as true of Labour as it is of the Conservatives. The bright side for Labour is that they are, in theory, getting their divisions out of the way early. As I’ve said elsewhere (my own blog) if, and it is a big if, Labour can agree a compromise, united platform they will have come together at exactly the moment that the Conservatives will be tearing lumps out of one another on Europe and then in their own leadership election. Thus the divided will be united, the united divided and the tortoise will overtake the hare.

    Now I don’t necessarily think this will happen. There are far too many variables between now and the future (not least Europe – an enormous gamble on Cameron’s part that looks like it’s about to go South). But I don’t think it’s all the forgone conclusion that many suppose.

    @Couper2802

    Arguably leadership is also about knowing when and where to pick your battles. Trident is an undecided issue in the Labour party and, after a bad weak, only a fool would risk opening that can of worms again. Whatever Corbyn may be he is no such fool.

  2. @ Couper 2802

    The reasonable assumption is that the leader is elected on a manifesto, in this case anti-Trident, anti-Austerity etc.

    Jeremy Corbyn’s manifesto was that the leader & cabinet would NOT determine Labour Party policy. No more top-down dictats from the leader’s office was the big promise which was made during Corbyn’s campaign!

  3. Osbourne has cancelled tax credit cuts.

    Sounds a winner, but he will breach his own welfare threshold at first, but then will meet it, presumably once the universal credit withdrawal rate is revised down.

    Politically, this looks smart, albeit somewhat chaotic. It seems that worse cuts have been mitigated by assuming higher tax revenues – a classic trick, I suppose. It’s easy to breach targets in the future.

  4. The issue that the LP is wrestling with, boils down to one of mandate. It has been very convenient (and for the most part workable) for a Labour MP, according to situation, to be able to claim that their mandate comes from their constituents, or alternatively from the party.

    It is only now a considerable problem because the grassroots membership can be seen to be well to the left of the PLP and are overwhelmingly backing Jeremy Corbyn. However, it should have been clear that this was so after John Cruddas unexpectedly gained the most votes in the first round of the Deputy leadership election in 2007. The LP establishment is now wrestling with the legacy of Blair/Brown and the lack of democracy that was deliberately created as part and parcel of the New Labour project.

    ‘Quiet plotters’ can of course be lethal but I would like to give most Labour MPs the benefit of the doubt and believe that they are trying to make the situation workable. In fact, I think few disagree with the sort of society that the Corbyn left would wish to create. The tension comes in which is the best way to get there. and the preconceived, rather constipated ideas about ‘electability’.

    Forgive me for saying that it seems extremely silly to be predicting the result of a GE 4.5 years away. It may prove correct, that a LP which is distinct from the Conservatives, loses in 2020 but I simply don’t believe that it is the inevitable result that can be predicted from current circumstances.

  5. @Amber Star

    Not really a leader then more a chair of a committee.

    Seriously you can’t be happy that he abstained on Trident,He is after all the vice-chair of CND.

  6. Alec

    I have to call you out on this one. You seemed to quite like the tax credit cut at the time.

    [No, you don’t have to. As ever, this isn’t a place to debate each other’s views on policy. If you’ve like to discuss Alec’s personal views of it exchange emails – AW]

  7. Amber

    ‘Jeremy ran on a bottom up policy making platform/ no more top-down dictat’

    It was not even that: it was “diktat from stage far left” pushed through by the 50-150 trots and Stalinists in around 300 CLPs who have nothing better to do with their lives than turn up to every single meeting and vote en masse having read the rule book from back to front twenty times (with scant regard to the world outside the public library/ friends meeting house/ trade union office)!

    In this way it is precisely the same procedure as the last time the CLPD were in the ascendant only the same faces are now 35 years older- because the much lauded ‘Jez we can’ 16-25 year olds are signalling failing to turn up in any significant numbers. It’s just a bunch of far left returnees as many of us predicted in the summer. Including two of my departmental colleagues erstwhile members of the Alliance for Workers Liberty !

    Meanwhile Osborne does his ‘best’: you almost could not make it up. ‘Almost’- because it all happened before in 1979-1985 !!!

    Labour will learn and this will eventually be seen as the ‘last roar’ of the unelectable Left.

    But it’s looking more likely that it’s going to go all the way to 2020: and take the inevitable 1983 style ultra left manifesto and a ensuing 1983 style level of defeat for the sensible leaders in the TU movement (who-however left wing- DO want to win power) to push the ejector seat button on the trot and Stalinist returnees, who have always- and will always- make it absolutely impossible for Labour to win an election.

  8. So if the tax credit cuts have been cancelled but the higher minimum wage and the childcare remains people will be better off now?

  9. @Couper2802

    Not exactly. Social housing benefits for new tenants will be limited to LHA. So a subset of those who were going to be hit by the tax credit cuts, will now be substantially worse off as they have to contribute much more to their rent. This won’t affect supported housing that’s already kept bellow the LHA, and private renting housing benefit claimants who already are limited that way. But for the working poor dependant on “affordable housing” from housing association stock, this is going to be painful.

    My quick take on this is that a few of the harsher cuts on the low end have been quietly reversed in response to the pressures increasing on the NHS and emergency social support providers. Remember, everyone was expecting social care to be cut, not to end up being moved into the ring-fencing with the NHS.

    I wonder if there would have been a lifting of the Spare Room Tax had the tax-credits cut gone through? As it does seem a little like some of the pain of cuts was being transferred from the very bottom up the chain to the working poor and lower-middle-incomes.

  10. I thought that it was the leader of the opposition who responded to the Chancellor, not the shadow chancellor? []

  11. I have to admit I am a bit confused as to where the money is coming from to pay for all of this.

    Is it possible that Osborne has laid a trap by deliberately suggesting public finances were more parlous than they really are, in order to confound expectations and make himself look generous?

    As it stands, it does look like he’s made “not cutting” things like police funding an act of generosity.

  12. @Hawthorn – “I have to call you [Alec] out on this one. You seemed to quite like the tax credit cut at the time.”

    No, you are incorrect. I have always been clear that the tax credit system was complex, expensive and it seemed incongruous that the state was subsidising such a high proportion of working people, including some on really rather high earnings.

    I was clear that the overall impact of the policies had outgrown the intended usefulness (as much of government spending is wont to do – temporary things become permanent, permanent things get bigger, because cutting is difficult) but I didn’t support these cuts, especially as the improvements elsewhere kick in years after the cuts hit.

  13. @Neil A – there seems to be a general bewilderment over how this is being financed. Lots of people looking at the Red Book.

  14. @Alec

    It appears to be being funded through even more optimistic predictions from the OBR of increased tax intakes.

  15. Not sure if anyone has an assessment of the historic accuracy of the OBR forecasts to date.

    Osborne’s entire plan has been to spend what he assumes will come in, with no margin.

    Also Kent CC leader has said that the 2% council tax levy will pay for the living wage rise only – and do nothing to meet the rising care capacity requirements. In places with smaller CT bases, such as Newcastle, it won’t even cover that. We have to hope that the OBR has been a bit pessimistic, I suspect.

  16. I think it is safe to say that we will not be seeing a budget surplus in 2020.

    Osborne has kicked the can down the road until he gets chance to become leader. What could possibly go wrong for him?

    The problem is that the people who dislike the Conservatives will see the bad stuff that will still happen, and the right wing will get angry when the numbers are shown not to add up. That is even if we do not have another economic crash.

    At least Labour have avoided being outflanked on the left under the current leadership by trying to “out-tough” Osborne.

  17. Robert Newark

    “I thought that it was the leader of the opposition who responded to the Chancellor, not the shadow chancellor? [snip]

    [snip]

    The shadow chancellor always replies to the Autumn statement. The Leader of the Opposition replies to the budget speech.

    [See how that exchange could have been so much better? AW]

  18. I’m afraid that the inexorable increase in health and social care costs is going to have to be paid for through an increase in taxation sooner or later. I appreciate this is more difficult for the Conservatives. But there is a substantial appreciation among the public that this is the case, so the political penalty may not be as high as is commonly presumed.

  19. Norbold
    My apologies i didn’t mean to be partisan. It was a genuine question. You should learn some manners though in the manner in which you write your posts.

  20. @Hawthorn,

    Careful, that’s a bit of a red rag to AW’s bull…

  21. @John Chanin

    The small-print on this is that there will be almost immediate tax-increases.

    On the local level 2% increases to rates and council-tax increases coming in from ‘social care levies’. These will of course be the most painful in areas where there’s very little to be squeezed out of rates and council-taxes in the first place.

    There’s also a, for all practical circumstances, a 0.5% increase of NI for large employers.

    This actually starts to look like a slow-U-turn on the whole idea of low-tax austerity.

  22. The assumptions of the OBR seem to be very optimistic or if you prefer unrealistic:

    ‘The OBR forecasts works on the assumption that from 2015 onward, the household sector as a whole will neither save nor borrow for the foreseeable future.
    Second, the OBR assumes that the business will abandon its policy of hoarding cash and begin to invest heavily from 2015, using borrowed funds to do so.
    Third, and most remarkably, it is assumed that the UK’s overall balance of trade and financial flows with overseas will change radically, requiring far fewer inflows into the UK economy which are the current net consequence of the UK’s significant trade deficits.
    Fourth, Figure 12 shows gradual decrease in state borrowing to the point, sometimes in 2019, when the government will achieve its Fiscal Charter goal.’

    https://www.city.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/296301/CITYPERC-WPS-201503.pdf

  23. @Jayblanc

    There also looks to be a council tax precept increase to cover police funding too. Also buy to let “investors” are getting creamed again (was also the case in the summer budget). On the latter, that should have been an open goal for Gordon Brown back in 2010.

    Osborne will almost certainly have to find more money for the NHS later on this parliament as well.

  24. I think it’s clear now that had any of the Establishment Labour candidates won the leadership, they would have been outflanked on the left by this.

    This actually looks a whole lot like the arguments being made by Ed M, that growth could blunt the demand for austerity…

  25. @ Couper 2802

    So if the tax credit cuts have been cancelled but the higher minimum wage and the childcare remains people will be better off now?

    Not for long – because their income will be cut when they move onto Universal Credit. So far, the delays to UC haven’t been high on the agenda but I expect the treasury will be pressing IDS on this. And we may see people being moved on to UC ‘manually’, i.e. whether the computerised system is ready or not.

  26. ALEC

    @” Lots of people looking at the Red Book.”

    Do you mean the Little one McDonnell quoted from & threw across the table to Osborne?

    An extraordinary moment to add to so many recently.

  27. AW:Equally, Labour party members who opposed Corbyn in the leadership election continue to oppose him, there is little sign of them rallying round their new leader.

    That’s not quite right. While only 13% of Corbyn supporters think he is doing ‘badly as leader of the Labour Party’, 32% of those who didn’t vote for him think he is doing well – so there is clearly some converts made or at least members putting loyalty to the Party first. So there’s some rallying around, even if two-thirds of the minority who didn’t vote for him remain unconvinced.

    As Phil pointed out there is an indication that some of that 13% are dissatisfied because they think Corbyn has modified his views to be less radical. Spearmint remarked at the time, some of the £3-ers were always going to flounce off at the first sign of ‘betrayal’, but I’m actually surprised how few they are (maybe only about 3%) and they seem out weighed by the ‘supporters’ who went on to join the Party. How active they will be is another matter (though most members of mass membership Parties are pretty inactive), but in terms of recruitment numbers you can’t deny its success.

    But three-quarters of this sample think Corbyn has played things right – even though that group is evenly split between those who think he has ‘moderated’ his views (and should have done) and those who think he hasn’t (and shouldn’t have). This may suggest he is getting the balance right (as far as Labour members go) even though I’m sure we can all think of instances where things could have been played more cleverly.

    It still does mean that there is around 20% of members[1] opposed to Corbyn as a dangerous lefty and this is fairly consistent across the questions – 18% think he should step down immediately for instance[2], but there seems pretty solid current backing otherwise. Looking at the opponents, I’m yet again struck by how different the Kendall supporters are from other members, their dislike of Corbyn is so deep[3] and the profile is very different from Burnham or Cooper backers and very far from the centre of gravity of the Party – even before any post election influx (we saw this with policy polling as well).

    As Anthony noted the members are putting the blame for any divisions in the Shadow Cabinet on “Labour MPs who oppose Jeremy Corbyn” and again they are close to the opinion of Labour voters on this. Even a majority of those who supported other candidates blame them or the two sides equally (Kendallites are the only anti-Corbyn faction). And the support for re-selection[4] will perhaps make some of louder dissidents behave better – though it won’t stop the little chats with their mates in the media.

    [1] Despite the caricature of £3 infiltrators, there is very little difference in attitude shown in this poll between those who are full members and those leadership voters who still aren’t (which includes TU associates as well). So I’m using ‘members’ fairly indiscriminately for all this sample

    [2] The same percentage as of Labour voters, so in this case they seem pretty representative. It indicates that any attempt at defenestration might be just as unpopular electorally as within the Party. Another 20% of members think he should go ‘before the next general election’, including 12% of those who voted for him. That reminds us that some backed him mainly as the ‘least’ worst’ option in the hope that something better (or perhaps younger) would turn up later. But there’s no agreement on any replacement at the moment. Burnham is the most popular and even he gets less than 30% of those who voted for him last time.

    [3] Only 9% of them think Corbyn is doing well, but 29% think Cameron is. There is some truth in those ‘Red Tories’ jibes. Though at 29% of 4.5% they’re aren’t that many of them (even though every single one seems to have their own national newspaper column).

    [4] Actually even some of those ‘opposing’ reselection may be supporters of it because the wording for that was So long as an MP has done a reasonable job they should be entitled to stand again for their political party at the following general election and defend their seat – only if an MP fails badly or is very unpopular with members should there be a full reselection, so some could support their MP undergoing the full process, even if they don’t think it should universal. Though this wasn’t also asked more widely of YouGov panellists, I wouldn’t be surprised if reselection was also popular there – democratic processes tend to get general support.

  28. @ Couper 2802

    Not really a leader then more a chair of a committee. As are most UK Party leaders.

    Seriously you can’t be happy that he abstained on Trident,He is after all the vice-chair of CND.

    I think that the view of most political commentators is: The SNP staged the Trident debate with no real purpose other than to undermine Jeremy Corbyn.

    And I listened yesterday to an SNP spokesman commenting on the defence review by saying that the SNP overwhelmingly support NATO & the NATO GDP spending %. As the SNP policy, until fairly recently, was that Scotland should not be a member of NATO, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the SNP’s policy on Trident changing at some point in the future too.

  29. Interesting Autumn Statement by the Chancellor who has moved the Tories even more onto the middle ground of politics IMO. The apparent u-turn on tax credits will mean that this unpopular move in the budget will be forgotten by the next election although of course as Amber pointed out it has just been delayed and the 12 billion of cuts to welfare will still happen.

    Not a statement to thrill people like me although he expects public spending as a percentage of GDP down to 36% by the end of the period which is a step in the right direction.

    Hawthorn
    I saw no sign of Tory right wingers being unhappy. Osborne got a very good reception to his statement from his side of the house.

  30. @ Roger Mexico

    [3] Only 9% of them think Corbyn is doing well, but 29% think Cameron is. There is some truth in those ‘Red Tories’ jibes. Though at 29% of 4.5% they’re aren’t that many of them (even though every single one seems to have their own national newspaper column).

    Red Tory jibes? I think there were actual Tory voters who mischievously joined or joined as affiliates for £3. Perhaps that’s having an effect, unless they’ve been excluded somehow from the sample population.

  31. It will be interesting to see which side ‘wins the spin’ regarding the Little Red book incident.

  32. The obvious figure is the 12 billion pounds and increasing net to the EU.Apart from that the Government hopes that asset sales will fill much of the gap.

  33. Amber Star

    We both know the answer to that.

    On actual substance, McDonnell has been pretty good, but he just keeps making these stupid political blunders.

  34. Good evening all from Westminster North.

    The Kremlin releases a short conversation between Obama and Putin.

    https://www.facebook.com/TheArtOfNotBeingGoverned/photos/a.162104867271753.38585.162101527272087/541783882637181/?type=3&theater

  35. Personally I think tax credits are a terrible idea but I have to concede that once given, they are very difficult to take away. The damage that they have done in holding down wages would be slow to reverse. Given that universal credit will gradually take over I don’t blame Osborne for leaving them completely alone. In his place I would probably have done the same seeing as the OBR has given him cover.

    Talking about cover (or more properly covert) the floor of the house of commons must be an absolute mess with all the shot foxes. I hope the animal rights lot don’t get too upset.

  36. I note that the “Short money” for Westminster opposition parties has been cut by 19%.

    Since the Block Grants to the devolved administrations has been cur by 4.5 – 5%, I wonder if Jane Hutt and John Swinney will return the compliment by cutting the equivalent allowances in the Senedd and Holyrood?

  37. I wouldn’t have been directly affected by the tax credit cuts but I’m relieved Osborne has had a change of heart. A decent living wage is clearly the way to go but people shouldn’t be made to suffer in the interim.

    The Labour front bench looked a bit shellshocked to me. What was McDonnell thinking, quoting Chairman Mao? I can no longer keep up with all the gaffs. There seems to be a new one every day, sometimes more than one.

  38. There are plenty more foxes for Labour. Housing benefit is one that is immediately obvious. There will be others.

    He has also just raised taxes which will also not go unnoticed in the coming months.

    He really is a Tory Gordon Brown and look how that ended up.

  39. RMJ1
    “Personally I think tax credits are a terrible idea but I have to concede that once given, they are very difficult to take away. The damage that they have done in holding down wages would be slow to reverse”
    ____________
    I have to admit that I never saw the U-turn on tax credits coming but it has to be welcomed.

    I wouldn’t put all the blame onto tax credits for low pay, a lot of it can be attributed to the amount of cheap labour coming into the UK each year which in itself drives wages down.

  40. The old saying about being careful about what you wish for is looking very relevant for the Conservatives. They didn’t really expect an overall majority, but now they are finding that being able to do what you wants, means you have to take responsibility for it. A small majority and backbenchers who have acquired the habits of dissent means that there are a whole range of things that can’t now be put through. In coalition, deals might mean they could happen and broken promises or unpopular measures blamed on your partner. Now things are both more difficult and more responsible.

    Tax cuts are going because there were too many Tory MPs who would vote against them. In actual fact they weren’t even that unpopular – YouGov found 37% against and 37% in favour[1]:

    https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/gtqhxwneyj/YouGovResults_151022_TaxCredits.pdf

    and only 13% of those who voted Conservative in May opposed. But for many Tory MPs the cuts went against the rhetoric they had been using about supporting hard-working families and they must have dreaded Conservative voters whose income was being cut turning up at surgeries.

    But without Corbyn’s firming up of Labour’s opposition, these potential rebels might not have been so bold. And because the topic became so totemic during the leadership campaign, any Labour MP tempted to not oppose would know that the knives would be out for them locally.

    [1] 21% supported them and 16% said “The changes to tax credits are a bad thing, but given the deficit and the need to cut spending should go ahead”. You suspect these people thought they wouldn’t be affect personally though. Given that 45% thought that “People who are not working, and living on benefits” would be hit, understanding might not be high – though some may have been assuming the changes to include other alterations to benefits.

  41. I wonder if the incident with the Little Red Book was caused because the Shadow Chancellor had heard people refer to the Red Book, and thought that was what was meant?

    Stranger things have happened.

  42. AMBER STAR

    Red Tory jibes? I think there were actual Tory voters who mischievously joined or joined as affiliates for £3. Perhaps that’s having an effect, unless they’ve been excluded somehow from the sample population.

    I doubt there were that many outside the ranks of newspaper columnists and the noisier of those were caught even before voting. But in any case their Cunning Plan was to all vote for Corbyn so as to give Labour a leader who would immediately reduce their ratings to the low 20s (that went well). So they wouldn’t appear in Kendall’s cross-tab.

  43. @ROGER MEXICO

    The low 20s becon. In fact I think a period in the low 20s is pretty much nailed on in the coming months.

  44. RMJ1
    If you’re right, I wonder who the main beneficiaries will be? Tories, UKIP or even possibly Greens?

  45. Its interesting.

    McDonnell was claiming two “victories” for Labour-Tax Credits, Police Funding policy reversal as a result of their “campaigning “.

    We will se what the Polls say.

  46. Well Osborne is either one of the luckiest Chancellors in recent times or has followed his predecessors in happily finding some hitherto hidden wriggle room. Time will tell.

    One thing for certain is that Osborne shot Kezia Dugdale’s “restore tax credits” fox stone dead. The SNP will be very pleased.

  47. The worst thing that can happen to a politician is that he becomes an object of ridicule. This is sometimes mitigated by a sympathy vote if the attacks have been too cruel but it is never a vote winner. Labour risk being in the unprecedented position of having both leader and shadow chancellor as figures of fun. It’s not a good look.

  48. @amberstar

    “And I listened yesterday to an SNP spokesman commenting on the defence review by saying that the SNP overwhelmingly support NATO & the NATO GDP spending %. As the SNP policy, until fairly recently, was that Scotland should not be a member of NATO, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the SNP’s policy on Trident changing at some point in the future too.”

    All things are possible however improbable. Given SLAB’s recent conversion to not renewing Trident perhaps their policy on independence will change? :)

  49. @PeteB
    I suspect the “undecided don’t knows” which will make opinion poll election prediction tougher than ever.

  50. @ RMJ1

    The worst thing that can happen to a politician is that he becomes an object of ridicule.

    Did Boris Johnson get that memo?

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